What is known on the subject?
What this paper adds to existing knowledge?
What are the implications for practice?Introduction:
Mental health service users with medical co-morbidity frequently experience difficulties accessing appropriate treatment in medical hospitals, and often there is poor collaboration within and between services. Little is known about mental health nurses’ perspectives on how to address these problems.Aim:
To explore mental health nurses’ perspectives of the experience of service users with medical co-morbidity in tertiary medical services, and to identify how to improve care planning and coordination for service users transitioning between tertiary medical and primary care services.Method:
Embedded within an experience-based co-design study, focus group discussions were conducted with 17 emergency department nurses and other clinicians, in Melbourne, Australia.Results:
Three main themes were abstracted from the data: feeling confused and frustrated, enhancing service users’ transition and experience and involving families and caregivers. Participants perceived the service user experience to be characterized by fear, confusion and a sense of not being listened to. They highlighted that service users’ transition and experience could be enhanced by facilitating transitions and improving coordination and continuity of care. They also emphasized the need to increase family and caregiver participation.Conclusion:
Our findings contribute to knowledge about improving the way service users are treated in emergency departments and improving care planning and coordination; in particular, facilitating transitions, improving coordination and continuity of care and increasing family and caregiver participation.