Community Care" is the British policy of deinstitutionalization, treating and caring for physically and mentally disabled people in their homes rather than in an institution. Institutional care was the target of widespread criticism during the 1960s and 1970s, but it was not until the 1980s that the government of Margaret Thatcher adopted a new policy of care after the Audit Commission published a report called 'Making a Reality of Community Care' which outlined the advantages of domiciled care.
Mental health and community care Deinstitutionalisation
Under the National Health Service and Community Care Act 1990, people with mental health problems were able to remain in their own homes whilst undergoing treatment. This situation raised some concerns when acts of violence were perpetrated against members of the public by a small minority of people who had previously been in psychiatric hospitals.
Although there have been some murders by a few people in the community with mental health problems, the truth is that it is far more likely that someone with mental health problems will be subject to attack by someone who is healthy themselves.
The National Health Service and Community Care Act 1990 was passed so that patients could be individually assessed, and assigned a specific care worker; in the unlikely event that they presented a risk they were to be placed on a Supervision Register. But there have been some problems with patients "slipping through the net" and ending up homeless on the street. There have also been arguments between Health and Social Services departments on who should pay.
In January 1998, the Labour Health Secretary, Frank Dobson, said the care in the community programme launched by the Conservatives had failed.