Quality and Value

Focus on: psychiatric intensive care units

Psychiatric1.jpgThe aim of this project is to build upon the findings of the high volume care acute admissions in adult mental health project by answering the following question:

‘What therapeutic and managerial interventions, actions and processes contribute to the patient’s journey through psychiatric intensive care and demonstrate a safe, effective, cost efficient pathway which delivers a high quality service?'

Read the report - Focus on: Psychiatric intensive care units

Our methodology

Using the NHS Institute’s high volume care programme methodology we have analysed the available hard and soft intelligence and are now working closely with NHS co-production partners to learn more about existing pathways and explore how these can be improved. As part of this, we have completed a series of in-depth visits to trusts providing psychiatric intensive care services and workshops with trusts and individuals across the service. We have observed the care environment and carried out interviews with staff, patients and carers.

Products and milestones

We have developed close links to the National Association of Psychiatric Intensive Care Units (NaPICU) and have hosted a co-production event where representatives of the trusts we visited and other key stakeholders came together to develop an optimised care pathway and generate ideas to support wider implementation of the pathway in the NHS.

The focus now is on prototyping and testing these products which might include:

  • an aide memoir for those making referrals, reiterating guidelines for appropriate admission referral
  • a staff training package, utilising service user experience to give a different perspective
  • a tool to assist with proactive discharge

The project’s products are anticipated to be launched between late 2008 and early 2009 following testing.  

Get involved or find out more: email: mentalhealth@institute.nhs.uk *

Read the report - Focus on: Psychiatric intensive care units 

Listen to Dr Ken Barratt talk about the programme


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Listen to an interview with Dr Ken Barrett about psychiatric intensive care units.

* Please note that the NHS Institute is an innovation and improvement organisation and is unable to give medical advice to patients or their carers


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