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The psychiatric decision unit as an emerging model in mental health crisis care: a national survey in England

Goldsmith, Lucy P., Anderson, Katie, Clarke, Geraldine, Crowe, Chloe, Jarman, Heather, Johnson, Sonia, Lloyd‐evans, Brynmor, Lomani, Jo, Mcdaid, David, Park, A‐La, Smith, Jared A., Turner, Kati and Gillard, Steve (2021) The psychiatric decision unit as an emerging model in mental health crisis care: a national survey in England. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing. ISSN 1445-8330

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Identification Number: 10.1111/inm.12849

Abstract

Psychiatric decision units have been developed in many countries internationally to address the pressure on inpatient services and dissatisfactory, long waits people in mental health crisis can experience in emergency departments. Research into these units lags behind their development, as they are implemented by healthcare providers to address these problems. This is the first‐ever national survey to identify their prevalence, structure, activities, and contextual setting within health services, in order to provide a robust basis for future research. The response rate was high (94%), and six PDUs in England were identified. The results indicated that PDUs open 24/7, accept only voluntary patients, provide recliner chairs for sleeping rather than beds, and limit stays to 12–72 hours. PDUs are predominantly staffed by senior, qualified mental health nurses and healthcare assistants, with psychiatry input. Staff:patient ratios are high (1:2.1 during the day shift). Differences in PDU structure and activities (including referral pathway, length of stay, and staff:patient ratios) were identified, suggesting the optimal configuration for PDUs has not yet been established. Further research into the efficacy of this innovation is needed; PDUs potentially have a role in an integrated crisis care pathway which provides a variety of care options to service users.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/14470349
Additional Information: © 2021 The Authors
Divisions: Personal Social Services Research Unit
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2021 14:42
Last Modified: 20 May 2021 02:58
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/109230

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