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Developing a care pathway for inpatient CAMHS

Increasing access to beds and reducing length of stay for young people

Overview of the Project

Between August 2011 and August 2012, a care pathway was developed by the Tier 4 services at Birmingham Childrens Hospital NHS Foundation Trust to improve access to inpatient mental health care. The care pathway had three main aims, to increase access to inpatient care, to reduce the length of stay, and to improve the quality of care for young people. The care pathway provides a structure for providing services within a timetable supported by a multi disciplinary team.

The average length of stay in the 6 months prior to the introduction of the care pathway was 160 days. This had reduced to 56 days in the six months after the introduction of the care pathway. In the year prior to the introduction of the care pathway, 40% of referrals were turned away because of capacity issues. This has reduced to 25% since adopting the pathway.

Leadership Challenges
The care pathway supports an acute assessment model of care which differs from the rehabilitative service model which has existed to date. The change in service model requires greater collaboration with community based services to support young people on discharge. The inpatient multi disciplinary team have adopted a framework for delivering assessments within a timescale that meets the needs of service users but impacts on workload and changes the culture of the service.

Length of stay reduced from 160 to 56 days.

Contact Information Paul Smith

Tier 4 Nurse Management Lead PAUL.SMITH@bch.nhs.uk 0121 243 2018