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Aims and method: Mental health day centres have been little researched. We carried out a 1-week census at the four day centres run by a London borough. Results: The centres catered for a group with long-standing mental health problems, mostly under community mental health team care. A surprising number were suffering from physical ill health. They attended the centres primarily for social reasons or to participate in creative groups such as music and art. Very few were concurrently attending day hospitals. Clinical Implications: Further work is essential to understand the distinction between NHS day hospitals and Social Services day centres in terms of utilisation and client group. This client group's needs, particularly for physical health care, require urgent attention.

Original publication




Journal article


Psychiatric Bulletin

Publication Date





61 - 66