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Acute mental health admissions in inner London: changes in patient characteristics and clinical admission thresholds between 1988 and 1998

  • N. K. Fitzpatrick, C. J. Thompson, H. Hemingway (a1), T. R. E. Barnes (a2), A. Higgitt (a3), C. Molloy (a4) and S. Hargreaves (a5)...
Abstract
Aims and Method

We undertook a retrospective case-note review of three cohorts of mental health admissions to determine the extent to which patient and service characteristics changed between 1988 and 1998. Changes in clinical admission thresholds were investigated by a psychiatrists' review of handwritten medical admission assessments.

Results

Patients admitted in 1998 were demographically less stable and clinically more complex than those admitted 10 years earlier. Clinical admission thresholds remained consistent.

Clinical Implications

Our findings suggest that the perceived increase in pressure on psychiatric services over this period was a response to a change in population need. This study highlights important questions about the clinical decision-making process leading to use of alternatives to admission and the appropriateness of acute admissions.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Acute mental health admissions in inner London: changes in patient characteristics and clinical admission thresholds between 1988 and 1998

  • N. K. Fitzpatrick, C. J. Thompson, H. Hemingway (a1), T. R. E. Barnes (a2), A. Higgitt (a3), C. Molloy (a4) and S. Hargreaves (a5)...
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