Acute care session

In this engaging session, the MHPRU team showcased their work in the field of acute mental health care. Professor Alan Simpson introduced the session, setting the scene by highlighting current concerns about inpatient and crisis care, and stressing the need for improvement – we had some tech issues, so this was not recorded! Dr Jessica Griffiths, Ruby Jarvis and Jerusaa Vasikaran presented a project which mapped alternatives to standard inpatient care – see a re-recording of this presentation by Dr Jessica Griffiths and Dr Helen Baldwin here.

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Professor Bryn-Lloyd Evans shared insights from a qualitative evaluation of the ’Beyond Places of Safety’ project which explored the implementation of innovative mental health crisis care approaches across England. Dr Kitty Saunders discussed her scoping review on trauma-informed care in acute mental health services. Dr Antonio Rojas-García shared findings from a study that surveyed crisis care models in England and investigated what features of crisis care systems were associated with hospital admission rates. Finally, Dr Gergely Bartl presented preliminary findings of a project that examined service users’ and carers’ experiences of the Mental Health Act.

An insightful panel discussion followed, featuring a diverse group of experts, including clinicians, academics and lived experience researchers. Rachel Rowan Olive, of the MHPRU’s Lived Experience Working Group (LEWG), discussed research and policy priorities for improving inpatient care. Dr Jacqui Dyer MBE, an independent health and social care consultant, campaigner, and equalities champion for NHS-England, reflected on the shortcomings of inpatient services in providing humane and equitable care, and how they could be addressed. Dr Karen Newbigging, a senior researcher at the University of Oxford, highlighted the potential for collaboration with the voluntary sector to enhance acute care. Dr Nicola Evans, a Reader in mental health nursing at Cardiff University, shared insights on research and policy priorities for improving acute care for children and young people. Dr Andrew Grundy, a lived experience lead at the MHPRU and postdoctoral research fellow, discussed how to better integrate lived experience researchers into research on crisis care. The audience posed a number of additional interesting questions to the panel, including about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on acute care and how research can address current challenges in improving acute care, such as strained and underfunded public and voluntary sector services, a soaring cost of living crisis, and hostile environment for many minority communities.

Watch the entire session here.

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