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HRB publish latest data from Irish Psychiatric Units and Hospitals 2015

21 July 2016

Figures show young people between 20-24 years of age had the highest rate of all admissions at 577.7 per 100,000 population. The 18-19 year olds had the highest rate of first admissions at 287.0 per 100,000 which has been the case for seven of the last 10 years. Depression continues to be the most common diagnosis for all admissions.

The Activities of Irish Psychiatric Units and Hospitals 2015 report provides a wide range of data on national admissions, national discharges and deaths, Community Healthcare Organisations (CHOs), hospital type, and child and adolescent admissions in Ireland during 2015. 

According to Dr Graham Love, Chief Executive at the Health Research Board, ‘This report provides essential data to inform decision-making in relation to planning for mental health services’. 

The report shows a small increase in admissions from 17,797 in 2014 to 17,860 in 2015. First admissions also increased by 172, from 5,942 in 2014 to 6,114 in 2015. However, looking at trends over time, there has been a 12% decline in total admissions in the ten-year period from 2006–2015, from 20,288 in 2006 to 17,860 in 2015. The number of re-admissions has also shown a decline, dropping 20% from 14,687 in 2006 to 11,746 in 2015. First admissions increased by 9% over the same period of time, from 5,601 in 2006 to 6,114 in 2015.

In line with the policy to close the older psychiatric hospitals, admissions to psychiatric hospitals/continuing care units continue to decrease. In the ten-year period from 2006-2015, admissions to psychiatric hospitals dropped by 50% from 6,400 in 2006 to 3,187 in 2015. Admissions to general hospital psychiatric units increased by 3% and admissions to independent private and private charitable centres increased by 12% in the same period.

Summary figures from 2015

 Males accounted for a slightly higher proportion of first admissions at 51%.

  • The 20–24 year age group had the highest rate of admission, at 577.7 per 100,000 population.  This was followed by the 55-65 year ages group at 557.7, and the 45-54 year age group at 548.2 per 100,000 respectively.
  • The 18–19 year age group had the highest rate of first admissions, at 287.0 per 100,000.
  • Over half (58%) of all admissions were for single people.
  • Married persons accounted for 25% of all admissions, widowed accounted for 4%, divorced accounted for 4% also. 
  • While divorced people accounted for only 4% of all admissions, they had the highest rate of all admissions at 759.9 per 100,000.
  • As in previous years the unskilled occupational group had the highest rate of all (755.5 per 100,000) and first (218.5 per 100,000) admissions.
  • Almost 41% of all admissions in 2015 were returned as unemployed.
  • There were 281 admissions with no fixed abode in 2015. Seventy-four per cent of these were male, 76% were single.

In terms of diagnosis

  • Depression, schizophrenia, mania and alcoholic disorders were the main diagnosis for admissions.
  • The most common diagnosis recorded for all admissions was depressive disorders, accounting for 27% of all, 30% of first and 25% of re-admissions, and accounting for the highest rate of all (104.7) and first (39.6) admissions.
  • Schizophrenia accounted for 20% of all, 13% of first and almost 24% of re-admissions and had the second-highest rate of all admissions (77.8 per 100,000).
  • Mania accounted for 11% of all, 7% of first and 13% of re-admissions.
  • Alcoholic disorders accounted for 7% of all, 7% of first and 6% of re-admissions.

Involuntary admissions

  • Involuntary admissions accounted for 12% of all and 13% of first admissions, unchanged from proportions in 2014. The rate of involuntary admissions also remained unchanged, at 46.7 per 100,000 for all and 17.0 for first admissions.
  • Almost 19% of all admissions to psychiatric hospitals/continual care units and 14% of admissions to general hospital psychiatric units were involuntary, compared with 2% of admissions to independent/private and private charitable centres.

Discharges and deaths

  • There were 17,662 discharges and 132 deaths in Irish psychiatric units and hospitals. 
  • Males accounted for 62% of all deaths and 84% of those who died were aged 65 years and over.
  • Almost one-third (30%) of all discharges took place within one week of admission, 18% of discharges occurred within two weeks, 19% occurred within two to four weeks, and 27% occurred within one to three months.
  • Ninety-four per cent of all discharges occurred within three months of admission. 
  • Over one third (35%) of all discharges from both general hospital psychiatric units and from psychiatric hospitals/continuing care units (34%) were discharged within one week of admission, compared with 15% of discharges from independent/private and private charitable centres.
  • Counties
  • Admission rates were highest for County Wicklow at 497.7 per 100,000, followed by Roscommon, at 485.4, Sligo, at 452.6 and Donegal at 437.5. Monaghan had the lowest rate of all admissions at 211.6 per 100,000.

Hospital Type

  • 58% of all admissions in 2015 were to general hospital psychiatric units, 24% were to independent/private and private charitable centres, and 18% were to psychiatric hospitals/continuing care units. These proportions are unchanged from 2014.
  • Re-admissions accounted for 68% of all admissions to psychiatric hospitals/continuing care units, 64% of admissions to general hospital psychiatric units and 67% also to independent/private and private charitable centres.
  • Admissions to independent/private and private charitable centres had an older age profile than either general hospital psychiatric units or psychiatric hospitals/continuing care units. 62% of admissions to independent/private and private charitable centres were 45 years and over, compared with 42% to general hospital psychiatric units and almost 45% to psychiatric hospitals/continuing care units.

Young people under 18 years of age (child and adolescent services)

  • There were 503 admissions to all hospital types for under 18s in 2015, an increase of 67 since 2014 (436).
  • There were 407 admissions for under 18s to dedicated child and adolescent units.
  • There were 96 admissions to adult units and hospitals for under 18s; 54 were aged 17 years, 33 were aged 16 years, 6 were aged 15 years and 3 were aged 13 years or younger.
  • Sixty per cent of all and 58% of first admissions for under 18s were female. 
  • Depressive disorders accounted for 32% of all and 33% of first admissions for under 18s, 13% had a diagnosis of neurosis, 12% had a diagnosis of eating disorders and 9% had a diagnosis of schizophrenia.
  • Females accounted for 65% of all admissions with a primary admission diagnosis of depressive disorders, 87% of admissions with eating disorders, and 58% of admissions with neuroses.
  • Males accounted for 59% with a primary admission diagnosis of schizophrenia and 93% of admissions with other drug disorders 
  • Eighty-five per cent of under 18s admitted in 2015 were discharged in 2015. The average length of stay for those admitted and discharged in 2015 was 41.4 (median 30 days).
  • Of those admitted and discharged in 2015, 19% were discharged within one week of admission, 9% were discharged within one to two weeks, 17% were discharged within two to four weeks, 45% were discharged within one to three months and almost 10% were discharged within three months to one year.

A copy of the report, related data tables, a national bulletin and an infographic capturing main stats are available at the links below.

ENDS

For more information contact: 

Gillian Markey, Communication Manager, Health Research Board

m 087 2288514 e gmarkey@hrb.ie

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