Enoch Powell’s Speech 1961

Cane Hill. 2009. 2.4. Enoch Powell’s 1961 Speech | Cane Hill Hospital. [online] Available at: http://www.canehill.org/history/enoch-powells-1961-speech [Accessed 25 Jun. 2017].

1961 has been deemed as a turning point for the history of institutionalised mental health care. During this time, Health Minister Enoch Powell challenged the institutions and a speech at a party conference in March of that year set the motions for community care and ultimately began the closures of the madhouses in the years that followed.

His themes of the speech were predominately the issues of mental health care and his aspirations for a ten year plan of change for Mental Health approaches. He accentuates the enormity of the task he plans to set out, yet he declares: “1961 would be the start of this great process of change”.

Powell favours change and the step towards community care over institutionalised care, believing that community care would become more flexible and able to provide higher degree of care on an individually-centred basis. There is an appeal for better teamwork and requirements to focus on the needs of the individuals suffering; “a more concise understanding of the issues faced in managing and caring for them”.

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