Independent sector mental health care : a 1-day census of private and voluntary sector placements in seven Strategic Health Authority areas in England

Hatfield, B, Sharma, I and Ryan, T 2007, 'Independent sector mental health care : a 1-day census of private and voluntary sector placements in seven Strategic Health Authority areas in England' , Health and Social Care in the Community, 15 (5) , pp. 407-416.

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The aims of this study were (i) to map the extent of all mental health placements in the independent sector, for adults of working age, and elderly people (excluding those with a diagnosis of dementia placed in Local Authority care homes), on a census date, across the areas in which the study was commissioned; (ii) to identify the characteristics of the population in placements; (iii) to explore some of the characteristics of the placements and the patterns of use within the private and voluntary sectors; and (iv) to identify the funding source of placements, and cost differences between the private and voluntary sector. The study took place in seven Strategic Health Authority areas, and information was sought from all Primary Care Trust and Social Services commissioners of mental health services, including regional secure commissioning teams, within those areas. A cross-sectional sample was used. Information was requested in relation to every individual meeting the inclusion criteria, placed in independent (private or voluntary) psychiatric hospitals, registered mental nursing homes and care homes on a specified study ‘census date’ of 28 June 2004 in six of the Strategic Health Authority areas, and 7 October 2004 in the seventh. Information was recorded on a standard questionnaire specifically designed for the study. Information was obtained on 3535 adults and 1623 elderly people in private or voluntary facilities. The largest groups of adults and elderly people had diagnoses of severe mental illnesses (42.1% and 30.5%, respectively), and placements were described as ‘continuing care’ or rehabilitation, with a ‘niche’ in specialist forensic care. Around four-fifths of units were in the private sector, which for adults was significantly more expensive than the voluntary sector. A large proportion of units (47.2% of adult placements and 59.3% of placements for elderly people) had only single placements from particular commissioning authorities, whilst others had large numbers, raising issues for effective commissioning. The distance of placements from patients’ area of origin, is also an issue highlighted by the study. The study findings are discussed in relation to commissioning practice, and the development of the independent sector in mental health care.

Item Type: Article
Themes: Subjects / Themes > R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Health and Wellbeing
Schools: Schools > School of Environment and Life Sciences
Journal or Publication Title: Health and Social Care in the Community
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 09660410
Related URLs:
Depositing User: H Kenna
Date Deposited: 13 Jan 2009 15:42
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 19:48

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