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Do patients need a psychiatric emergency clinic?

  • Robert F. Kehoe (a1) and Richard Newton (a1)
Extract

When planning new service initiatives it is important to review the role and functioning of existing services. As more patients are discharged from long-stay beds, there is increasing concern regarding the quality of community care and the accessibility of urgent psychiatric help. The Department of Health has recently expressed concern over the level of such services provided (DoH, 1989). In Edinburgh, alternative methods of delivering psychiatric emergency care are currently being considered. Community-orientated crisis intervention teams may be useful, but only a small proportion of people presenting to general psychiatric services fit into the stereotyped model of crisis. Centres with short-term admission facilities have been developed in other countries and within the United Kingdom many general hospital casualty departments have a psychiatrist available on call. Walk-in or self-referral psychiatric clinics provide an easily accessible service but few have been systematically reported (Lim, 1983; Haw, 1987). Such clinics have been described as seeing mainly chronic patients of the hospital who are already in current contact and who present with less severe psychiatric disorders than GP-referred cases. In a climate of NHS financial restraint it is pertinent to ask whether such clinics are needed.

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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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Blaney, D. & West, A. (1987) Out of hours referrals to a General Psychiatric Hospital. Health Bulletin (Scotland), 45, 6770.
Department of Health (1989) Caring for People: Community Care in the Next Decade and Beyond. London: HMSO.
Haw, C., Lanceley, C. & Vickers, S. (1987) Patients at a psychiatric walk-in clinic - who, how, why and when? Bulletin of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, 11, 329332.
Johnstone, E. C., Crow, T. J., Johnson, A. L. & MacMillan, J. F. (1986) The Northwick Park Study of first episodes of schizophrenia - presentation of the illness and problems relating to admission. British Journal of Psychiatry, 148, 115119.
Lim, M. H. (1983). A psychiatric emergency clinic: a study of attendances over six months. British Journal of Psychiatry, 143, 460466.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Do patients need a psychiatric emergency clinic?

  • Robert F. Kehoe (a1) and Richard Newton (a1)
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