The history of community care in the UK dates back to the beginning of the 17th century when the Poor Law was adopted to make every parish responsible for supporting those who could not look after themselves (Mind 2010). Yet, it was not before the beginning of the 19th century (or 1808, to be more exact) that the County Asylums Act permitted county justices to build asylums supported by the local authorities to replace psychiatric annexes to voluntary general hospitals (Mind 2010). In 1879, the UK established the Mental Aftercare Association which worked on a comparatively small scale and focused on personal and residential care of the limited amount of mental ex-patients (Yip 2007). The association was further supplemented with three more voluntary associations that worked on a national scale and provided community care to mental outpatients (Yip 2007). Those organisations included the Central Association for Mental Welfare, the Child Guidance Council, and the National Council for Mental Hygiene (Yip 2007). Later in 1939, the Feversham Committee proposed amalgamation of all four voluntary organisations into a single system of mental health community care (Yip 2007). In 1890, the first general hospital clinic for psychiatric patients was created at St. Thomas Hospital, while the World War I became the turning point in the improvement of health care facilities in the UK, giving rise to an unprecedented number of asylums and hospital facilities for mentally ill people (Yip 2007).
The Main Goals of the Community Care and the Mental Health Institutions