In-patient psychiatric care needs urgent improvement and development. A new model of psychiatric care (triage) has been used for 6 months across an adult psychiatric service covering a London borough.
Preliminary results show that the new model has reduced bed occupancy, leading to more-efficient throughput, with positive feedback from patients and staff. Important factors contributing to these positive changes include a whole-systems approach, senior medical input 6 days a week, creative use of information technology and a highly skilled multidisciplinary team.
The introduction of the new model has resulted in a more-efficient use of beds. Further evaluation will enable us to assess the impact on other parts of the service. As with all innovations, the improvements must be sustained once the initial enthusiasm has passed.
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