Community care on the brink

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The Independent Online
Mental health services are close to breaking point in some parts of Britain as the community care system teeters on the brink of collapse, psychiatrists warned yesterday. In a hard-hitting report, the Royal College of Psychiatrists said the cause of the crisis was a "fundamental failure in the development and implementation of health policies".

The problems were not confined to the immediate difficulties posed by high bed occupancy rates in urban areas.

The college called on the Government to ensure mental illness received the same priority in the NHS as physical illness, to put a hold on further hospital closures, to bring together social and health services and tackle staff shortages.