To describe the work of the ‘Vron’, a seven-bed active rehabilitation hostel which has operated in Gloucester for the last 15 years. Such units have been acknowledged as a successful alternative to hospital care for patients with severe mental illness, but nationally are grossly under-provided.
Demographic details, admission and discharge data were described for all 103 patients admitted over a 12–year period up to January 1996. Duration of hospital treatment fell from mean 105.8 days one year before and 138.0 days two years before admission to the Vron to: mean 28.6 days one year after and 57.1 days two years after discharge from the Vron. The change was highly significant for both one and two year analyses.
Residential rehabilitation, provided as part of a comprehensive rehabilitation service, was effective at reducing requirement for hospital care. Clinical approaches which contributed to this success were described. The results point to the value of a range of residential hostels, which can through skilled deployment effectively target individual needs for a wide ranging, heterogeneous population.
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