Improving acute inpatient psychiatric care for adults in England: Interim report

This interim report is based on the Commission’s initial observations about acute inpatient psychiatric services for adults in England and its discussions with patients, carers, advocates, health and social care professionals and policy makers. Five main themes have emerged:

1 The so-called bed or admission crisis is very significantly a problem of discharges and alternatives to admission and can only be addressed through changes in services and the management of the whole system.

2 There is a spectrum of pressure and performance ranging from units with demoralised staff who are trapped in a constant process of crisis management to those where staff work purposefully to deliver high quality care and services.

3 Although the Commission heard many positive stories of care, it is clear that many patients and carers feel disenfranchised and excluded. There is a need for greater engagement and implementation of best practice.

4 There is a significant data and information shortfall, with inconsistent definitions and processes and a lack of agreed outcomes. This makes it very difficult to understand what is happening throughout the system, to measure variation and to bring about improvements.

5 In many services there is a need for greater staff support, training and motivation in order to improve care and services.

The Commission will be deepening its understanding of each of these themes over the next few months prior to publishing a final report and making recommendations for improvement in early 2016.

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