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Survey of psychiatric assessment rooms in UK emergency departments

  • Jim Bolton (a1), Lucy Palmer (a2) and Rohanna Cawdron (a2)
Abstract
Aims and method

We aimed to estimate the proportion of UK emergency departments with a psychiatric assessment room and to determine whether such rooms met criteria for conducting high-risk assessments. Liaison psychiatry services were asked whether their hospital had such a room, whether it met the criteria and whether respondents judged it to be sufficiently safe and private.

Results

Of the 60 emergency departments included in the survey, 23% had a psychiatric assessment room that met all the safety criteria and was judged to be safe and private. Barriers to the establishment of an appropriate facility included it being a low priority for hospital management, a room being used for other purposes, and balancing safety requirements with the creation of a calming environment.

Clinical implications

Mental illness is a common reason for presentation to emergency departments. Despite national recommendations, this survey indicates that many departments lack a sufficiently safe and private assessment room, which compromises the safety and privacy of patient care.

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Copyright
This is an open-access article published by the Royal College of Psychiatrists and distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Corresponding author
Correspondence to Jim Bolton (jim.bolton@swlstg-tr.nhs.uk)
Footnotes
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Declaration of interests

None.

Footnotes
References
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1 Royal College of Psychiatrists. Liaison Psychiatry for Every Acute Hospital: Integrated Mental and Physical Healthcare (CR183). Royal College of Psychiatrists, 2013.
2 Royal College of Psychiatrists, British Association for Accident and Emergency Medicine. Psychiatric Services to Accident and Emergency Departments (CR118). Royal College of Psychiatrists, 2004.
3 Sharpe, M. Psychological medicine and the future of psychiatry. Br J Psychiatry 2014; 204: 91–2.
4 NHS Confederation, Centre for Mental Health. Liaison Psychiatry – The Way Ahead. NHS Confederation, 2012.
5 Parsonage, M, Fossey, M, Tutty, C. Liaison Psychiatry in the Modern NHS. Centre for Mental Health, 2012.
6 Design Council, Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, Department of Health. Reducing violence and aggression in A&E through a better experience. Design Council, 2011 (http://www.designcouncil.org.uk/projects.reducing-violence-and-aggression-ae).
7 College of Emergency Medicine. Mental Health in Emergency Departments: A Toolkit for Improving Care. College of Emergency Medicine, 2013.
8 National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. Violence: The Short-Term Management of Disturbed/Violent Behaviour in In-Patient Psychiatric Settings and Emergency Departments (CG25). NICE, 2005.
9 Soni, M, Webb, J, Palmer, L, Dupin, M, McGeorge, M. Quality Standards for Liaison Psychiatry Services (3rd edn). Royal College of Psychiatrists 2011.
10 Palmer, L, Cawdron, R, Pollock, E, Bolton, J, Spink, J (eds) Quality Standards for Liaison Psychiatry Services, Fourth Edition. CCQI, 2014.
11 Royal College of Psychiatrists. Standards on the Use of Section 136 of the Mental Health Act 1983 (England and Wales) (CR159). Royal College of Psychiatrists, 2013.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 2056-4694
  • EISSN: 2056-4708
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Survey of psychiatric assessment rooms in UK emergency departments

  • Jim Bolton (a1), Lucy Palmer (a2) and Rohanna Cawdron (a2)
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