New report confirms conflicting evidence on effectiveness of compulsory community treatment, says The King's Fund

Commenting on research published today by the Department of Health on international experiences of using community treatment orders, The King's Fund chief executive Niall Dickson said:

'We welcome the publication of this report and hope it serves as an important piece of evidence for MPs ahead of their forthcoming debate on the introduction of supervised community treatment in the government’s Mental Health Bill.

'The report confirms there is conflicting evidence on the effectiveness of compulsory community treatment. There may be benefits in using supervised community treatment as a less restrictive alternative to being detained compulsorily in hospital, both in terms of better outcomes for the patient and patient and public safety.

'However, it is important that the supervised community treatment powers in the Mental Health Bill are drawn tightly, so it can only be imposed on those who are most likely to benefit.'

Notes to editors: 

  1. For further information or interviews, please contact the King’s Fund media and public relations office on 020 7307 2585, 020 7307 2632 or 020 7307 2581. An ISDN line is available for interviews on 020 7637 0185.
  2. The King’s Fund is an independent charitable foundation working for better health, especially in London. We carry out research, policy analysis and development activities, working on our own, in partnerships, and through funding. We are a major resource to people working in health and social care, offering leadership development programmes; conferences, seminars and workshops; publications; information and library services; and conference and meeting facilities.
  3. The Department of Health report, International experiences of using community treatment orders, is available at www.dh.gov.uk