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This quality improvement project was a collaboration between an adult, inpatient female psychiatric intensive care unit (PICU) in South London and the Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights, Inclusion and Empowerment (SHRINE) programme. SHRINE is a London-based programme delivering SRH care to any individual with serious mental illness, substance misuse and/or learning disability.
The primary aim of this quality improvement project was to assess patients’ sexual and reproductive (SRH) needs, and the acceptability of providing SRH assessments in a female PICU setting. Secondary aims were to explore the barriers to access and the feasibility of providing SRH assessments and SHRINE interventions in the PICU.
A bi-monthly SRH in-reach clinic and a nurse led SRH referral pathway were implemented on the PICU over a seven-month period. Within a quality improvement framework, a staff training needs assessment was performed, training delivered, a protocol developed, staff attitudes explored, and patient and carer engagement sought.
30% of women were identified as having unmet SRH needs and proceeded to a specialist appointment, representing a 2.5-fold increase in unmet need detection. 42% of women were assessed, representing a 3.5-fold increase in uptake. 21% of women initiated SRH interventions of which 14% had all their SRH needs met.
Results identified SRH needs for PICU admissions are greater than realised. Staff highlighted the acceptability and importance of SRH care, if interventions are appropriately timed and the patient’s individual risk profile considered. Providing a nurse-led referral pathway for an SRH in-reach clinic is acceptable, feasible and beneficial for PICU patients.
PICU inpatients are likely to be at increased risk of having unmet SRH needs due to barriers to accessing services. Since May 2018, an in-reach SRH assessment has been available to all psychiatric inpatients on ES1 ward, if referred. Analysis of referrals over 15 months identified only 24 had been made during this time.
To assess the SRH needs of women admitted to ES1 PICU, the feasibility of providing a SRH in-reach clinic, and the acceptability of delivering a nurse lead referral programme.
A bi-monthly SRH in-reach clinic and a nurse led SRH referral pathway were implemented on ES1 over a seven-month period. A staff training needs assessment was performed followed by training, a protocol was developed, staff attitudes were explored, and patient engagement was sought.
A total of 41% (32/77) of patients were referred, which was a 29% increase. 53.1% (17/32) of the total referrals had a true SRH need, equating to a 10% increase and 22% (17/77) of all PICU admissions. 90% of referrals were made by nursing staff. A staff focus group (n15) highlighted the acceptability and perceived importance of offering SRH care in PICU, if interventions were appropriately timed and the patient’s individual risk profile was considered.
Results identify that SRH needs for PICU admissions are greater than previously realised. Providing a nurse led referral pathway for an SRH in-reach clinic is acceptable, feasible and beneficial for PICU patients. This project has resulted in service improvements including offering asymptomatic STI testing to all PICU admissions.
No significant relationships.
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