We describe activity and outcome concerning a consecutive series of older community patients referred to an outreach support team while waiting for acute psychiatric admission.
Forty patients on an admissions waiting list who were referred to the outreach support team were followed up. Each patient was reassessed for admission by the responsible medical officer when an in-patient bed became available. Thirty patients who would have been admitted (if a bed had been available at the time of the first assessment) remained at home and did not need hospitalisation.
This study suggests that intensive domiciliary support might offer an acceptable form of crisis intervention for older people with mental illness. Further research is needed before generalisation of these findings can be recommended.
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