The idea of a place which patients might attend for medical care during the day, returning home at night, was first used 30 years ago for some psychiatric patients. In the last decade the concept has also been adopted in geriatric medicine, so that by 1970 there were 120 geriatric day hospitals in England, compared with only five in 1960.1 These day hospitals are run by hospital authorities, usually in the grounds of hospitals with established geriatric units and departments of physiotherapy and occupational therapy.
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