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A week and a half into Mark Zuck's admission he has made some improvement. A case conference is called with Mark, his mother, and the community team. Concern is expressed that Mark might relapse again. This has now occurred 3 times in the last 5 years.
A community treatment order is suggested as a better way of continuing Mark's engagement with the community team and remaining on his medication. Mark agrees with this plan so long as he is permitted to go home on leave the following day after receiving some depot antipsychotic medication. Mark is to return in 3 days' time to attend a Tribunal meeting where a 6-month community treatment order and plan will be presented.
Mental Health Acts are often not just confined to what occurs in hospital but also how treatment can occur in the community. Community treatment plans are often presented as less restrictive alternatives to remaining in hospital as well as possible solutions for preventing a restrictive admission to hospital in the future. There is no argument that they do work for some patients.
However, some commentators have expressed the concern that community treatment orders may extend restrictive care into the community (potentially for a longer period of time to the hospital alternative) and that some patients may agree to accept community treatment orders under duress because they are keen to leave hospital.