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Press Release

Press release

HRB publish latest data from Irish Psychiatric Units and Hospitals

25 July 2017

Young people, single people and depression continue to dominate admissions for psychiatric care.

The latest Activities of Irish Psychiatric Units and Hospitals 2016 from the Health Research Board (HRB) shows young people between 20-24 years of age had the highest rate of all admissions during 2016. The 18-19 year old age group had the highest rate of first admissions – a continuing pattern for seven of the past 10 years. Almost six in 10 admissions were single and depression remains the most common diagnosis for all admissions.

The report provides data about admissions, discharges and deaths in Irish psychiatric units and related socio-economic data. It identifies where in the country and the type of hospital in which these took place. It also looks specifically at child and adolescent admissions during 2016. 

According to Dr Mairead O Driscoll, Interim Chief Executive at the Health Research Board, ‘This report gives a clear picture of who needs these services and provides evidence to assist decision-making and planning in relation to mental health services’. 

The report shows a decrease in admissions from 17,860 in 2015 to 17,290 in 2016. First admissions also decreased marginally by 17, from 6,114 in 2015 to 6,097 in 2016. The number of re-admissions has also shown a decline, dropping from 11,746 in 2015 to 11,193 in 2016. 

In line with the policy to move away from the traditional psychiatric hospitals to treatment in acute units in general hospitals, there has been a clear decline in the proportion of admissions to psychiatric hospitals/continuing care units, from 29% of all admissions in 2007 to 17% in 2016, The proportion of admissions to general hospital psychiatric units has risen from 52% of all admissions in 2007, to 59% in 2016. Admissions to independent/private and private charitable centres also increased from 19% in 2007, to 25% in 2016. 

Summary figures from 2016

  • There was an equal proportion of male and female admissions.
  • The 20–24 years age group had the highest rate of admission, at 549.4 per 100,000 of the population. This was followed by the 65–74 years age group at 547.2. 
  • The lowest rate of admissions was among 25-34 year olds at 434.9 per 100,000.
  • The 18–19 years age group had the highest rate of first admissions, at 300.2 per 100,000.
  • Almost 6 in 10 of all admissions were 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 764.5 per 100,000.
  • Almost 41% of all admissions in 2016 were unemployed.
  • Homeless people accounted for 271 admissions of in 2016. Seventy-three per cent were male and 82% 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, 29% of first admissions and the highest rate of all (102.5) and first (38.1) admissions.
  • Schizophrenia accounted for 20% of all, 14% of first and had the second-highest rate of all admissions (74.7 per 100,000).
  • Mania accounted for 11% of all admissions.
  • Alcoholic disorders accounted for 7% of all admissions.

Involuntary admissions

  • Involuntary admissions accounted for 13% of all and 14% of first admissions, showing a small rise from 2015 (12% for all and 13% for first). 
  • All admission for schizophrenia had the highest rate of involuntary admission at 19.4 per 100,000.
  • 18% of all admissions to psychiatric hospitals/continual care units and 16% 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 17,175 discharges from and 151 deaths in Irish psychiatric units and hospitals. 
  • Males accounted for 54% of all deaths and 81% of those who died were aged 65 years and over.
  • Ninety-two per cent of all and 93% of first admissions in 2016 were discharged within the year.
  • The average length of stay for all discharges was 57.7days (median 15 days).
  • 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.

Community Healthcare Organisations (CHOs)

  • Admission rates were highest for CHO* 9 at 413.1 per 100,000, and lowest in CHO 8 at 349.8 per 100,000 of the population.

Hospital type

  • 59% of all admissions in 2016 were to general hospital psychiatric units, 25% were to independent/private and private charitable centres, and 17% were to psychiatric hospitals/continuing care units.
  • Admissions to independent/private and private charitable centres had an older age profile (average 51 year) than either general hospital psychiatric units (42 years) or psychiatric hospitals/continuing care units (45 years).

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

  • There were 506 admissions to all hospital types for under 18s in 2016, an increase of 3 since 2015 (503). 81% were being admitted for the first time.
  • There were 439 admissions to dedicated child and adolescent units.
  • There were 67 children or 13% of all admissions admitted to adult units and hospitals. 
  • Females accounted for 64% of all and first admissions. 
  • Depressive disorders accounted for 33% of all and 35% of first admissions for under-18s, 12% had a diagnosis of neurosis, 12% had a diagnosis of eating disorders and 11% had a diagnosis of schizophrenia.
  • Females accounted for 73% of all admissions with depressive disorders, 93% of admissions with eating disorders, and 56% of admissions with neuroses.
  • Males accounted for 55% with a primary admission diagnosis of schizophrenia and 71% of admissions with other drug disorders. 
  • Eighty-three per cent of under-18s admitted in 2016 were discharged in 2016. The average length of stay for those admitted and discharged in 2016 was 47.3 days (median 38 days).
  • Of those admitted and discharged in 2016, 17% were discharged within one week of admission, 5% were discharged within one to two weeks, 16% were discharged within two to four weeks, 49% were discharged within one to three months and 13% were discharged within three months to one year.

Copies of the report, national bulletin and an infographic which highlights key data, are available at the links below.

ENDS

For more information or queries, please contact: 

Gillian Markey, Communications Manager, Health Research Board

m 087 2288514 e gmarkey@hrb.ie

Notes to editors

*Explanation of the areas that Community Healthcare Organisations represent

CHO 1 – Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim, Cavan, Monaghan

CHO 2 – Galway, Roscommon, Mayo

CHO 3 – Clare, Limerick, North Tipperary

CHO 4 – Kerry, Cork

CHO 5 – South Tipperary, Carlow, Kilkenny, Waterford, Wexford

CHO 6 – Wicklow, Dun Laoghaire and Dublin South-East

CHO 7 – Kildare/West Wicklow, Dublin West, Dublin South City, Dublin South-West

CHO 8 – Laois, Offaly, Longford, Westmeath, Louth, Meath

CHO 9 – Dublin North, Dublin North Central and Dublin North-West

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