A new piece in History of Psychiatry will interest AHP readers: “The development of supported mental health accommodation and community psychiatric nursing in Oxfordshire,” by John Hall. Abstract:
Overcrowding in British mental hospitals was a major service and political concern when the NHS was introduced in 1948. From 1959, a number of projects were initiated locally in Oxfordshire, based from Littlemore Hospital Oxford, to provide alternative accommodation, primarily for long-stay residents. Two NHS hostels were opened and a network of group homes was developed from 1963. These were administered through the hospital League of Friends and supported by the community psychiatric nursing service led by Helmut Leopoldt. From 1977 a separate local charity, Oxfordshire Mind, also provided supported housing for younger patients. These developments can be seen as an early local case study of the provision of non-hospital (supported) accommodation and other forms of support for people with long-term mental health problems.