Audit: The Emergency Psychiatry Service – Observing Trends and Outcomes during a Period of Restructuring

Authors: Dr. Giovanni Grech & Dr. Patrick Abela

Background: As part of the development of psychiatric services, the Emergency Psychiatric Service previously operating between 7:30am to 5:30pm was extended to a 24-hour service on March 4th 2019. This service involved trainees reviewing patients at the Accident and Emergency department as well as triaging patients and giving advice to GPs, doctors working at MDH, members of the multidisciplinary team and service users who call Mount Carmel Hospital. :

Aim and Methods: This audit of the Emergency Psychiatry Service attempted to minimise the difficulties surrounding data collection by implementing a digital interface which is easy to access, simple to use and effective for the purposes of data observations. With this technological approach in place, this audit has seen significantly improved response rates than previous versions, and has also allowed for a number of recommendations that can be delivered to policy makers. Ultimately, the audit aims to quantify the workload of the psychiatric emergency service and assess whether the extension has resulted in any change in workload.:

Results: The data which has been collected since the beginning of Year 2019 snapshots the clientele of the Emergency Psychiatry Service, the interventions that are being sought after and implemented, the role of the GAF Score in case management and the impact of level of training on outcomes. Proposals for service improvement are then suggested on the basis of the findings.

Conclusion: The information obtained from this audit will hopefully indicate areas that are receiving sufficient resources and those were resources are lacking. The novelty of the service has granted a momentum which should be harnessed to optimise the current Emergency Psychiatry situation. The future plan is to further this research project to continue to track changes within the demands of the service to better improve the delivery of services.