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Mental health presentations to an inner-city accident and emergency department

  • S. Cassar (a1), A. Hodgkiss (a1), A. Ramirez (a1) and D. Williams (a2)
Extract
AIMS AND METHOD

To study the presentation, assessment and management of all patients attending St Thomas' accident and emergency (A&E) department with overt mental health problems. The method included a pragmatic definition of ‘overt mental health problems' and a range of strategies to maximise case ascertainment.

RESULTS

The department saw 565 presentations in a 3-month period. Patients were predominantly young, male, single, unemployed, housed outside the area served by the local primary care group and presented outside normal working hours.

CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS

This study confirms that A&E departments may be the most frequently used setting for urgent mental health assessments in central London. The patients attending differ from those using community mental health teams. It is argued that mental health liaison services based in inner-city A&E departments should be developed.

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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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Crawford, M. J. & Kohen, D. (1997) Urgent psychiatric assessment in an inner-city A&E department. Psychiatric Bulletin, 21, 625626.
Department of Health (1999) National Service Framework for Mental Health: Modem Standards and Service Models. London: Department of Health.
Dunn, J. & Fernando, R. (1989) Psychiatric presentations to an accident and emergency department. Psychiatric Bulletin, 13, 672674.
Hawton, K. & Fagg, J. (1992) Trends in deliberate self poisoning and self injury in Oxford, 1976–90. BMJ, 304, 14091411.
Johnson, S. & Thornicroft, G. (1995) Emergency psychiatric services in England and Wales. BMJ, 311, 287288.
Johnson, S., Ramsay, R., Thornicroft, G., et al (1997) (eds) London's Mental Health. The Report to the King's Fund London Commission, 1997. London: King's Fund.
Kapur, N., House, A., Creed, F., et al (1998) Management of deliberate self poisoning in adults in four teaching hospitals: a descriptive study. BMJ, 316, 831832.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Mental health presentations to an inner-city accident and emergency department

  • S. Cassar (a1), A. Hodgkiss (a1), A. Ramirez (a1) and D. Williams (a2)
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