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CTOs don't work, says man who championed them

CTOs don't work, says man who championed them
16th April 2013

Tom Burns, the psychiatrist who advised the government on the introductions of Community Treatment Orders (CTOs) five years ago, has now said the measure an ineffective way of treating those with mental illnesses.

CTOs were dubbed "psychiatric Asbos" as they kept mental illness patients in their community but curtailed their freedom.

The orders give doctors the power to impose conditions on patients such as what drugs they can take and where they can live. Failure to adhere to these stipulations can result in the person being sectioned to a psychiatric unit.

Mr Burns, who is now head of the social psychiatry department at Oxford University, played a major role in seeing CTOs created but now believes they have failed to deliver real results.

"The evidence is now strong that the use of CTOs does not confer early patient benefits despite substantial curtailment of individual freedoms," he said.

He added that high usage of the orders needs to be reviewed urgently.

Read about support and personalised care at Barchester care homes for anyone with mental health concerns