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New collaborative care models with an emphasis on primary care are required for long-term management of patients with severe and enduring mental illness (SMI). We conducted a descriptive evaluation of clinical outcomes of the first 3 years of a novel enhanced primary care (EPC) service. Data from 2818 patients and staff survey results were analysed.
2310 patients were discharged to EPC (508 not assessed as clinically suitable or patients/general practitioners declined the transfer); mean length of stay with secondary care service of the cohort was 9.8 years (range 0–24). 717 patients (31%) have been discharged to primary care only out of the EPC services and 233 patients (10%) have been transferred back to secondary care. Patient and staff satisfaction with the new EPC model was high. No severe untoward incidents were recorded.
The data suggest that EPC can be safely provided for a significant proportion of patients with SMI, who traditionally received long-term secondary care support. The novel EPC model can be utilised as a template for the provision of cost-effective, recovery-oriented and non-stigmatising care in the community.
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