To describe the long-term outcome of 165 people taken onto assertive outreach teams.
After a mean follow-up of 6 years and 8 months, 130 people remained in contact with local services of whom 100 were still under the care of an assertive outreach team. Admission rates remained around half those at inception. However, 16 individuals had died, 10 spent time in prison, 12 were homeless and 14 had protracted stays in hospital during the follow-up period.
Although assertive outreach teams are successful in engaging individuals and reducing admission rates, these benefits plateau after the first few years and could possibly be sustained by other services that may in addition focus more on those areas where teams have proven less effective including physical health, housing and employment.
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