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Psychiatric admission for homeless people: the impact of a specialist community mental health team

  • Martin Commander (a1), Sue Odell (a1) and Sashi Sashidharan (a1)
Abstract

The difficulty in achieving good quality community mental health care for homeless people has received increasing attention during the last few years. Less consideration has been given to the provision of inpatient care. By comparing data collected before and after its inception, we examined the impact of a specialist community mental health team for homeless people on ‘no fixed abode’ admissions in Birmingham. Although the team was successfully involved in the admission and discharge process in a substantial proportion of cases, many admissions still took place out of hours and involved the police, while discharge was often against medical advice and occurred without follow-up. These findings and their implications for the provision of homeless services are discussed.

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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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References
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Berry, C. & Orwin, A. (1996) No fixed abode: a survey of mental hospital admissions. British Journal of Psychiatry, 112, 10191025.
Commander, M., Odell, S. & Sashidharan, S. (1997) Birmingham community mental health team for the homeless. Psychiatric Bulletin, 21, 7476.
Cowan, C. & Macmillan, F. (1996) No fixed abode – its definition in clinical practice. Journal of Mental Health, 5, 161165.
Craig, T., Bayliss, E., Klein, O., et al (1995) The Homeless Mentally Ill Initiative: An Evaluation of Four Clinical Teams. London: Department of Health.
Health Advisory Service (1995) People Who Are Homeless: Mental Health Services A Place in Mind. London: HMSO.
Herzberg, J. L. (1987) No fixed abode. A comparison of men and women admitted to an East London psychiatric hospital. British Journal of Psychiatry, 150, 621627.
Sashidharan, S. P., Commander, M. J., Odell, S., et al (1995) West Birmingham Psychiatric Epidemiology Research Project. Report 1: Use of Specialist Mental Health Services. Birmingham: University of Birmingham.
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Wing, J. K. (1994) Mental illness. In Health Care Needs Assessment (eds Stevens, A. and Raftery, J.), pp. 202304. Oxford: Radcliffe Medical Press.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Psychiatric admission for homeless people: the impact of a specialist community mental health team

  • Martin Commander (a1), Sue Odell (a1) and Sashi Sashidharan (a1)
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