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Opening the Door
by Kathleen Jones, John Brown, W J Cunningham, Julian Roberts, and Peter Williams
First published in 1975, Opening the Door is a survey of policies and problems in services for the mentally handicapped. It describes the improvements which have taken place since 1969, when the inquiry into conditions of patients at Ely hospital in South Wales stimulated public concern into the quality of life of many mentally handicapped people in hospital. The authors discuss the continuing gap between the idea – as laid down in the 1971 Government White Paper, Better Services for the Mentally Handicapped, which set out a blueprint for development in the 1980s that was to make the antithesis of ‘hospital’ or ‘community’ obsolete – and the reality. The study is based on detailed work in one Region by a team of staff and postgraduate students in the Department of Social Administration and Social Work at the University of York. The survey covers hospital provisions, with special attention to nursing attitudes and to problems of the ‘back wards,’ the relationship between hospitals and their surrounding communities, and the development of local authority social work and residential care services. This book will be of interest to students of social administration, social policy and health.