Specialist service use following psychiatric emergency presentation: an 18-month follow-up study.

Health & social care in the community

PubMedID: 12485132

Perry A, Hatfield B, Spurrell M. Specialist service use following psychiatric emergency presentation: an 18-month follow-up study. Health Soc Care Community. 2002;10(6):457-63.
The aim of the present study was to identify the subsequent use of specialist psychiatric services by a group of 170 individuals referred as psychiatric emergencies. Hospital and community mental health team (CMHT) records and databases were used to identify specialist contact in an 18-month follow-up period. Out of the total of 170 people, 169 were traced. The majority (60.9%) had had some specialist psychiatric contact in the follow-up period. Those with severe mental health problems formed a minority of presenters, but were heavy users of services. Coverage by CMHT services was insufficient to prevent crisis in many cases. Improved access to broader community services is needed for those with life crises. This study suggests some important gaps in coverage by wider mental health services, which the current mental health agenda goes some way towards addressing.