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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 57 (2015) 4, 240 - 247

New research

The number of compulsory admissions continues to rise: Implications for the new Dutch law on obligatory mental health care

J. Broer, H. Koetsier, C.L. Mulder

background Since the introduction of the new Dutch law on compulsory mental health care, the Bopz, there has been a marked increase in the number of compulsory admissions in mental health care in the Netherlands. When the new law underwent its third evaluation in 2002, it was decided that the law no longer reflected current views on the admission policy in mental health care. The draft on a new law on compulsory admissions to mental health care has already been published. One of the goals of the new law is to reduce the number of compulsory hospital admissions and to ensure that patients with mental health problems receive compulsory community care and outpatient care.
aim To describe and analyse the use of compulsory admissions and community treatment orders (ctos), and to make recommendations.
method We analyse the number of ctos and court-ordered admissions in the Netherlands between 2003 and 2013 on the basis of figures supplied by the Council for the Judiciary.
results In the period 2003-2013 the number of compulsory emergency admissions increased from 43 to 47 per 100,000 inhabitants. During the same period the number of court-ordered admissions rose from 44 per 100,000 inhabitants in 2003 to 89 per 100,000 in 2013. (These figures include ctos.) We were unable to perform more detailed studies because of the lack of records giving, for instance, the characteristics of patients who have undergone compulsory admission. conclusion Emergency compulsory admissions, ctos and court-ordered admissions to mental health care continued to rise in the period 2003-2013. There is an urgent need for more detailed registration of the type an duration of compulsory admissions to psychiatric care and for more research into the type of treatment that can prevent the use of coercion to mental health care.

keywords compulsory admissions, court-ordered admissions, Dutch law on compulsory mental health care