Home treatment teams and facilitated discharge from psychiatric hospital

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Aims. There has been little research into the facilitated discharge (FD) function of Home Treatment Teams (HTTs). We aimed to explore and describe the prevalence and associations of FD and to estimate its effects on bed days during the index admission (length of stay corrected for ward leave) and on readmission.

Methods. Descriptive and regression analyses of data collected by South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust on discharges from its general psychiatric wards, with multiple imputation of missing covariate values.

Results. Overall, 29% of our sample of 7891 hospital admissions involved a FD. FD was associated with female gender, diagnosis of a severe mental illness, previous home treatment, having a longer previous admission, neither being discharged to a new address nor to a care home, having no other community team and having HoNOS item scores consistent with an active depressive or psychotic mental illness. In the regression analysis, FD was associated with 4.0 fewer bed days (95% confidence interval −6.7 to −1.3; p = 0.0004). There was no effect on readmission.

Conclusions. Our analysis provides some support for the effectiveness of FD in slightly reducing the time spent in hospital and suggests that this may be achieved without increasing the rate of readmission. Further studies in this area are important, especially given existing research that suggests that the introduction of HTTs in England and Wales was associated with little or no change in service utilisation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)402-414
Number of pages13
JournalEpidemiology And Psychiatric Sciences
Issue number5
Early online date30 Jun 2014
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2015


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