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Variations in the costs of child and adolescent psychiatric in-patient units

  • Jennifer Beecham (a1), Daniel Chisholm (a2), Anne O'Herlihy (a3) and Jack Astin (a3)

Abstract

Background

Child and adolescent inpatient care is a highly specialised service, ideally requiring planning at a national level, but there are no routine data collections specifically for these services.

Aims

To estimate unit costs for child and adolescent psychiatric in-patient units and to analyse the variations in costs between units.

Method

Data collection alongside a national survey with cost estimations guided by principles drawn from economic theory. Bivariate and multivariate analyses are employed to identify cost influences.

Results

Fifty-eight units could provide sufficient data to allow calculation of the cost per in-patient day; mean=$197 (s.d.=71.6; 1999–2000 prices). The management sector, type of provision, number of rooms, capacity and location explained nearly half of the cost variation.

Conclusions

Child and adolescent psychiatric in-patient units are an expensive resource, with personnel absorbing two-thirds of the total costs. Costs per in-patient day vary fourfold and the exploration of cost variations can inform commissioning strategies.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

Dr Jennifer Beecham; Centre for the Economics of Mental Health (CEMH), Box No. P024, The David Goldberg Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, De Crespigny Park, London SE5 8AF, UK. E-mail: J.Beecham@iop.kcl.ac.uk

Footnotes

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See invited commentary pp. 226–227, this issue.

Declaration of interest

The Department of Health funded the study. There were no competing interests.

Footnotes

References

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Variations in the costs of child and adolescent psychiatric in-patient units

  • Jennifer Beecham (a1), Daniel Chisholm (a2), Anne O'Herlihy (a3) and Jack Astin (a3)

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Variations in the costs of child and adolescent psychiatric in-patient units

  • Jennifer Beecham (a1), Daniel Chisholm (a2), Anne O'Herlihy (a3) and Jack Astin (a3)
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