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Service innovation in a heated environment: CATS on a hot tin roof

  • Graham Ingram (a1) and Mary Jane Tacchi (a2)
Extract

Over the past few years, numerous articles have highlighted the strain on (and drain of staff from) our specialty. Many general adult psychiatrists are developing bleak views of themselves, the world and the future. Encouragingly, consultants such as Hampson (2003) are structuring their roles with some success. However, we are going through a major overhaul of the model of delivery of care and need to adapt our roles accordingly. Although tuning a Triumph Spitfire might make it run more smoothly for a while, it is still an inferior beast compared with a modern car and might be better on the scrap heap. A more radical approach is needed, which we outline in this article. One of the authors (G.I.) has experience of working as a consultant psychiatrist in Australia, where the state of Victoria changed the model of delivery of general adult psychiatric services to adopt a superior American model, leading to improved patient and carer satisfaction (Joy et al, 2001). The same model has been adopted by the UK government (Department of Health, 2001) through the creation of crisis assessment and treatment services (CATS), assertive outreach teams, and specialist community and in-patient services. Consultant psychiatrists are challenged to adapt their practice accordingly. The Royal College of Psychiatrists has recently set up a Working Group to address this issue (Royal College of Psychiatrists, 2004).

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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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Colgan, S. (2002) Who wants to be a general psychiatrist? Psychiatric Bulletin, 26, 34.
Cope, D. (2003) General adult and old age psychiatry specialist registrar training – crisis looming. Psychiatric Bulletin, 27, 152154.
Department of Health (2001) NHS Mental Health Policy Implementation Guide. London: Department of Health.
Hampson, M. (2003) It just took a blank sheet of paper: changing the job plan of an adult psychiatrist. Psychiatric Bulletin, 27, 309311.
Joy, C. B. Adams, C. E., Rice, K., et al (2001) Crisis intervention for people with severe mental illnesses. Cochrane Library, issue 2. Oxford: Update Software.
Kennedy, P. & Griffiths, H. (2001) General psychiatrists discovering new roles in a new era … and removing work stress. British Journal of Psychiatry, 179, 283285.
Kennedy, P. & Griffiths, H. (2002) What does ‘responsible medical officer’ mean in a modern mental health service? Psychiatric Bulletin, 26, 205208.
NHS Executive (2001) Proposal for a New Approach to the Consultant Contract. London: Stationery Office.
Rathod, S., Roy, L., Ramsay, M., et al (2000) A survey of stress in psychiatrists working in the Wessex Region. Psychiatric Bulletin, 24, 133136.
Royal College of Psychiatrists (2004) Remedies for work overload of consultant psychiatrists. Psychiatric Bulletin, 28, 2427.
Timms, P. (2003) The consultant psychiatrist – a remembrance of things past? Psychiatric Bulletin, 27, 4749.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Service innovation in a heated environment: CATS on a hot tin roof

  • Graham Ingram (a1) and Mary Jane Tacchi (a2)
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