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Title: Presentations by ambulance under the NSW Mental Health Act to an emergency department with a 24-hour mental health team
Authors: Skopek, Michaela ;Francis, J Lynn 
Affliation: Central Coast Local Health District
Gosford Hospital
Issue Date: May-2016
Source: 24(5):445-8
Journal title: Australasian Psychiatry
Department: Emergency
Mental Health
Abstract: OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to examine the presentations of patients by ambulance, under Section 20 of the NSW Mental Health Act of 2007, to a hospital emergency department (ED) with a 24-hour Mental Health Team. METHODS: Patient records between December 2013 and December 2014 were audited and analysed in Excel. RESULTS: There were 47 such presentations: 51% required a mental health admission. Patients required management for up to six of the nine identified mental health and physical problems. As the number of clinical problems in these patients increased, the length of their stay and the likelihood of discharge to home increased. The need for psychiatric admission did not appear to prolong their length of stay, though chemical sedation did. The availability of an ED mental health team did assist in achieving a length of stay that was in keeping with Australian National Emergency Access Target guidelines. CONCLUSIONS: A 24-hour ED mental health team provided specialised assessment and management for patients, alongside the necessary emergency medical intervention. This team assisted in easing the increasing pressure on the ED and minimising the patients' length of stay. The team redirected patients requiring admission, facilitated timely discharge of others and revoked Section 20 when less restrictive care was appropriate.
DOI: 10.1177/1039856216648807
ISSN: 1039-8562
Publicaton type: Journal Article
Keywords: Mental Health
Emergency Department
Appears in Collections:Mental Health

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