What is known on the subject?
What this study adds to existing knowledge?
What are the implications for practice?Background:
Integrated Care Pathways (ICPs) are used to deliver mental health services, yet evidence relating to outcomes is mixed.Aim:
To compare service users’ length of stay, readmission rates and follow-up within 7 days of discharge in a mental health Trust using an ICP to direct the care of people diagnosed with schizophrenia with a Trust using a nonICP method of care planning in England.Method:Aim:
A cohort study with a random sample of 400 service users with outcomes analysed retrospectively.Results:
The ICP Trust had a 13.5 day shorter average length of stay, this difference was statistically significant. No statistically significant differences were observed in rates of readmission or follow-up within 7 days of discharge.Discussion and implications:
Mental health nurses are central to the delivery of the psychosocial aspects of ICPs in particular and judging by the link between psychosocial interventions and quality of mental health care, it is possible that nurse-led psychosocial interventions contributed to the reduced length of stay.