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Distribution of case-load in community mental health teams

  • Peter Tyrer (a1), Omar Al Muderis (a1) and David Gulbrandsen (a2)
Abstract
Aims and Method

An audit project was carried out in a mental health trust in North-West London on two successive years to determine the average case-load size of defined severe mental illness for each professional discipline.

Results

The average case-load for non-consultants varied from 16 (for occupational therapists) through to 98 patients (for senior house officers). Community psychiatric nurses had an average case-load of 21 and consultants had an estimated average case-load of between 185 and 317 patients. The proportion of patients with severe mental illness ranged from 49% to 67%.

Clinical Implications

The case-loads of consultants in community health teams are too large to exercise the statutory duties of a responsible medical officer and, therefore, need revision.

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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.
References
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Department of Health (1996) Building Bridges: A Guide to Arrangements for Inter-Agency Working for the Care and Protection of Severely Mentally Ill People. London: Department of Health.
Department of Health 1998) A First Class Service: Quality in the New NHS. London: Department of Health.
Department of Health (1999) A National Service Framework for Mental Health. London: Department of Health.
Schinnar, A. P., Rothbard, A. B., Kanter, R., et al. (1990) An empirical literature review of definitions of severe and persistent mental illness. American Journal of Psychiatry, 147, 16021608.
Stein, L. I. & De Santos, A. B. (1998) Assertive Community Treatment of Persons with Severe Mental Illness. London and NewYork: W. W. Norton.
Tyrer, P., Hawksworth, J., Hobbs, R., et al (1990) The role of the community psychiatric nurse. British Journal of Hospital Medicine, 43, 439442.
Weaver, T., Patmore, C., Cunningham, B., et al (1999) An assessment of the impact of community psychiatric nurse attachment to primary care upon the monitoring of patients with severe mental illnesss. Journal of Mental Health, 8, 403412.
World Health Organization (1992) The ICD–10 Classification of Mental and Behavioural Disorders. Geneva: World Health Organization.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Distribution of case-load in community mental health teams

  • Peter Tyrer (a1), Omar Al Muderis (a1) and David Gulbrandsen (a2)
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