Inpatient mental healthcare in England and Wales: patterns in NHS and independent healthcare providers
544 - 551
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Objectives: Independent healthcare, most of it NHS-funded, provides a significant and growing proportion of inpatient mental healthcare in the UK, but information about patients in these providers is limited. This paper examines differences in the profiles of mental health inpatients in NHS and independent providers in England and Wales, and assesses whether current information systems are adequate for monitoring patient flows and care, given the plurality of service provision.Design: Data from the national censuses of inpatients in mental health services in England and Wales in 2006 and 2007 were analysed to examine differences in demographic and other characteristics between inpatients in NHS and independent providers.Setting: All NHS and independent providers of inpatient mental health services in England and Wales in 2006 and 2007.Main outcome measures: Patients in independent providers were younger, 60% were on low/medium secure wards (compared with 16% in the NHS), they were 44% more likely to be detained and referrals were predominantly from NHS inpatient services. For all ethnic groups, ratios of detention on admission were higher in independent providers.Conclusions: This analysis highlights differences between inpatients in NHS and independent providers of mental health services. We also highlight the inadequacy of current information systems for monitoring care, and the urgent need for standardized data across all NHS-commissioned mental healthcare, irrespective of whether it is publicly or privately provided. This is especially important in view of the increases in independent sector provision, and the specialist nature of their services. Such information is critical for commissioners, regulators of health and social care, and other audiences for monitoring patient flows, the quality of care provided, usage of the Mental Health Act 2007 and compliance with equality legislation.
AuthorsRaleigh, VS; Polato, GM; Bremner, SA; Dhillon, S; Deery, A
- College Publications