Service use preceding and following first referral for psychiatric emergency care at a short-stay crisis unit: A cohort study across three cities and one rural area in England

Article


Goldsmith, L., Anderson, K., Clarke, G., Crowe, C., Jarman, H., Johnson, S., Lomani, J., McDaid, D., Park, A., Smith, J. and Gillard, S. 2023. Service use preceding and following first referral for psychiatric emergency care at a short-stay crisis unit: A cohort study across three cities and one rural area in England. International Journal of Social Psychiatry. 69 (4), pp. 928-941. https://doi.org/10.1177/00207640221142530
TypeArticle
TitleService use preceding and following first referral for psychiatric emergency care at a short-stay crisis unit: A cohort study across three cities and one rural area in England
AuthorsGoldsmith, L., Anderson, K., Clarke, G., Crowe, C., Jarman, H., Johnson, S., Lomani, J., McDaid, D., Park, A., Smith, J. and Gillard, S.
Abstract

Background: Internationally, hospital-based short-stay crisis units have been introduced to provide a safe space for stabilisation and further assessment for those in psychiatric crisis. The units typically aim to reduce inpatient admissions and psychiatric presentations to emergency departments. Aims: To assess changes to service use following a service user’s first visit to a unit, characterise the population accessing these units and examine equality of access to the units. Methods: A prospective cohort study design (ISCTRN registered; 53431343) compared service use for the 9 months preceding and following a first visit to a short-stay crisis unit at three cities and one rural area in England. Included individuals first visited a unit in the 6 months between 01/September/2020 and 28/February/2021. Results: The prospective cohort included 1189 individuals aged 36 years on average, significantly younger (by 5–13 years) than the population of local service users (<.001). Seventy percent were White British and most were without a psychiatric diagnosis (55%–82% across sites). The emergency department provided the largest single source of referrals to the unit (42%), followed by the Crisis and Home Treatment Team (20%). The use of most mental health services, including all types of admission and community mental health services was increased post discharge. Social-distancing measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic were in place for slightly over 50% of the follow-up period. Comparison to a pre-COVID cohort of 934 individuals suggested that the pandemic had no effect on the majority of service use variables. Conclusions: Short-stay crisis units are typically accessed by a young population, including those who previously were unknown to mental health services, who proceed to access a broader range of mental health services following discharge.

KeywordsMental health crisis, psychiatric admission, emergency department, short-stay crisis care, experience of care, mental health nursing
Sustainable Development Goals3 Good health and well-being
Middlesex University ThemeHealth & Wellbeing
LanguageEnglish
PublisherSAGE Publications
JournalInternational Journal of Social Psychiatry
ISSN0020-7640
Electronic1741-2854
Publication dates
Online16 Dec 2022
PrintJun 2023
Publication process dates
Deposited04 Jan 2023
Output statusPublished
Publisher's version
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Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1177/00207640221142530
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