New long-stay patients in a psychiatric admission ward setting

  • Cowan C
  • Walker P
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Aims and method: This is a descriptive study of the admissions of new long-stay patients and their outcome in a district with minimal access to longer-stay in-patient beds. Cases were identified through an ongoing in-patient census and information was gathered by retrospective case-note review. Results: Thirty-nine new long-stay admissions were identified. High rates of living alone, early readmission following previous discharge and use of the Mental Health Act 1983 were noted. The 39 admissions occupied 12% of the unit's capacity. Four patients returned to a family residence but 27 went into residential or in-patient care. Of those discharged to settings not providing patient care, 48% were readmitted in the year after discharge. Clinical implications: New long-stay admissions continue to absorb a high proportion of the bed resources of an in-patient unit for their numbers and these patients are at risk of unsuccessful discharge.




Cowan, C., & Walker, P. (2005). New long-stay patients in a psychiatric admission ward setting. Psychiatric Bulletin, 29(12), 452–454.

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