To evaluate the first 3 years of a newly developed service for the homeless mentally ill in Aberdeen. All 86 referrals to the service between 1996 and 1999 were reviewed.
The majority of referrals came from social care staff and self-referrals.
Half were diagnosed as having severe and enduring mental illness and of these one-quarter (11 cases) were engaged in long-term psychiatric care. A total of 744 in-patient days were required, only one admission was a compulsory detention.
It has proven possible to identify and engage with a number of homeless individuals who have untreated serious mental illness by setting up a small dedicated service that has close links with an established adult mental health team and which establishes close working relationships with colleagues in social care settings.
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