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Contribution of psychiatric disorders to occupation of NHS beds: analysis of Hospital Episode Statistics

  • Parvathy Pillay (a1) and Joanna Moncrieff (a2)
Abstract
Aims and method

We looked at the contribution of psychiatric disorders to occupancy of National Health Service (NHS) beds in England in the past 11 years, using publicly available data on Hospital Episode Statistics from the financial years 1998–1999 to 2008–2009.

Results

Patients with psychiatric disorders occupied between 14 and 16% of NHS beds in each year examined, and schizophrenia and mood disorders were among the top ten medical diagnoses of people occupying beds in every year. In terms of duration of admission, many individuals with psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia and mood disorders, had a longer length of admission than those with other medical conditions. In 2008–2009 mean duration of admission for people with schizophrenia was 108 days and for people with mood disorders 42 days. In comparison, people with cerebrovascular disease stayed in hospital for 20 days on average.

Clinical implications

Despite modern treatments, people with psychiatric disorders occupy a large proportion of NHS beds and stay in hospital for considerably longer than those with other medical conditions. Since the independent sector is providing increasing amounts of long-term in-patient care, these figures are likely to underestimate the total burden and costs of treating psychiatric disorders. Community services designed to reduce admissions have yet to have any substantial impact on bed use.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Joanna Moncrieff (j.moncrieff@ucl.ac.uk)
Footnotes
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Declaration of interest

J.M. is co-chairperson of Critical Psychiatry Network.

Footnotes
References
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 1758-3209
  • EISSN: 1758-3217
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Contribution of psychiatric disorders to occupation of NHS beds: analysis of Hospital Episode Statistics

  • Parvathy Pillay (a1) and Joanna Moncrieff (a2)
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