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Last Updated: Wednesday, 11 October 2006, 12:59 GMT 13:59 UK
Mental health home treatment move
Depressed man - generic
Health bosses said patients responded well to the scheme
A health authority has reduced the number of beds for mental health patients after a home treatment scheme led to a fall in hospital admissions.

NHS Forth Valley said treating mental health patients at home had cut admissions by one fifth.

It also said that the move, thought to be the first of its kind in Scotland, had seen a number of patients getting better twice as quickly.

The scheme involves an intensive home support service with 24-hour back-up.

It has involved patients coping with a wide range of conditions such as schizophrenia and manic depression.

The scheme's "success" resulted in the number of acute mental health beds in Forth Valley, including intensive care, falling from 80 to 65, health bosses said.

The feedback from patients has been positive
Colin Crawford
Consultant psychiatrist

The programme, run by a team of 10 nurses and an occupational therapist working with a consultant and other senior medical staff, was brought in following a nine-month pilot.

Consultant psychiatrist Colin Crawford said: "The feedback from patients has been positive, with the overwhelming majority saying they prefer getting better at home.

"It is not for everybody but for a lot of people it is a better experience of their acute crisis than coming into hospital."

About 40% of patients have been considered suitable for home treatment, which involves visits up to three times a day from the health team, as well as 24-hour support with contact numbers for people to ring.


SEE ALSO
Businesses hit by mental illness
09 Oct 06 |  Scotland
Events focus on mental wellbeing
09 Oct 06 |  South of Scotland
Depression 'can affect anybody'
09 Oct 06 |  Edinburgh and East
Mental health projects go-ahead
29 Sep 06 |  Glasgow and West

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