Acute hospital wards: caring for people with mental health problems


Kate Chartres summarises a recent qualitative study that provides a greater understanding of the experience of delivering care to people with mental health problems in an acute hospital.

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Be nice to patients and they will get better? Therapeutic alliance and service user satisfaction


John Baker reviews a recent cross-sectional study of the relationship between therapeutic alliance and service user satisfaction in mental health inpatient wards and crisis house alternatives.

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The cost-effectiveness of liaison psychiatry: the case of RAID


Liaison psychiatry brings together medical and psychiatric staff in hospital wards and emergency departments, with the aim of more adequately addressing comorbidities between physical and mental health. It’s something that’s been discussed in the Woodland before, with recommendations for wider implementation. The Guardian recently published an article discussing the findings of a recent study and [read the full story…]

New NICE guidance recommends that all NHS hospitals and clinics become completely smoke-free


Over 40% of all cigarettes smoked in England are smoked by people with severe mental illnesses. This group are more likely to become physically ill than the rest of the population, but they are less likely to be given help to quit. Smoking is especially common among people with mental health problems: whilst 1 in [read the full story…]

Making hospitals dementia-friendly: new report from the King’s Fund

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It’s estimated that around one quarter of patients in general hospitals in England have cognitive problems or dementia. Visiting hospital can be a frightening experience and levels of anxiety are only heightened by the visuospatial problems that often affect people with dementia. As part of the National Dementia Strategy, the Department of Health has supported [read the full story…]

13 screening instruments for detecting illicit drug use in general hospital settings: a systematic review


Cross sectional studies (Mordal et al) tell us that around a third of patients admitted to acute psychiatric wards have illicit drugs detected in their system on admission. A third of patients also report a need for professional help in relation to their substance use. This new systematic review from researchers at York University (Mdege [read the full story…]

The Geriatric Depression Scale is the best screening tool for depression in older people in acute hospital settings


Depression often occurs in later life and people in poor physical condition tend to be more susceptible than others. Older people in hospital who get depressed have poorer outcomes, so it’s important that we know how to detect depression and manage it in the acute setting. This systematic review conducted by researchers in Swansea set [read the full story…]

Significant improvements needed to care for people with dementia in hospital, says national clinical audit


The first full report of the National Audit of Dementia has identified a need for significant improvements in hospital ward environments, staff training and the overall approach to care delivery for patients with dementia. Although the majority of wards meet basic safety requirements, the audit shows that many had not addressed simple measures that could [read the full story…]