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To establish whether a dementia intensive support (DIS) service that is part of a crisis resolution and home treatment team for older people is preventing admissions to acute hospital and psychiatric wards. The number of referrals in 2017 to the DIS service was established and those admitted to hospital ascertained. Senior doctors examined 30 sets of notes in detail and reached a conclusion on whether DIS had contributed to admission prevention. This information was then re-examined in two meetings with at least eight senior psychiatrists present. A consensus opinion was then reached as to whether DIS had contributed to admission prevention in each case.
Over 12 months, 30/171 patients (18%) referred were admitted to hospital. For the subset of 30 referrals examined in detail, DIS contributed to admission avoidance in 21 cases (70%).
Our evaluation demonstrates that the DIS service is an effective way of preventing admission.
The Health of the Nation Outcomes Scales (HoNOS) has been widely used as an outcome measure in UK mental health settings for the past decade. The data-set gathered provides a unique opportunity to evaluate the effectiveness of the totality of mental healthcare in ‘real-world’ conditions; much of our clinical evidence currently comes from highly parameterised clinical trials investigating single interventions in highly selected patients.
To examine all outcomes measured by HoNOS for a range of diagnostic groups, evaluate the influence of patient demographics on those outcomes, and observe changes in patient groups over time.
Here we show the data from 6813 adult patients treated in Cambridgeshire between 2012 and 2017. Patients were split into three diagnostic groups: psychosis, non-psychosis and organic. Changes in HoNOS scores from initial assessment to discharge were tested and regressions were used to evaluate the influence of age, gender and ethnicity on the changes, as well as to model changes in the severity of initial presenting symptoms with time.
HoNOS scores significantly improve after treatment for psychotic, non-psychotic and organic conditions in adults and older adults. Age, but not gender or ethnicity, influenced change in HoNOS scores. Patients entering secondary mental health services had increased initial HoNOS scores over time.
The UK repository of HoNOS scores provides a significant and relatively underutilised resource that can be exploited to gain insights into mental illness and treatment effectiveness. This is likely to have many applications, including influencing the commissioning of services.