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Press Release

Press release

Activities of Irish Psychiatric Services 2001

10 December 2002

The Activities of Irish Psychiatric Services 2001 was published today by the Health Research Board. The report provides information on in-patient psychiatric services with detailed information on all admissions to, and discharges from, Irish psychiatric hospitals and units, along with data on community psychiatric service use for the year 2001.

The Activities of Irish Psychiatric Services 2001 was published today by the Health Research Board. The report provides information on in-patient psychiatric services with detailed information on all admissions to, and discharges from, Irish psychiatric hospitals and units, along with data on community psychiatric service use for the year 2001.

The report by Antoinette Daly and Dr Dermot Walsh of the Health Research Board is produced from the National Psychiatric In-Patient Reporting System (NPIRS). NPIRS is the only national psychiatric database in Ireland and provides vital information on the activities of psychiatric hospitals and units. The database is an invaluable source of information for planning and research in the mental health area in Ireland.

Admissions
  • There were 24,446 admissions to Irish psychiatric hospitals and units in 2001.
  • Re-admissions accounted for 70% of all admissions, a rate of 270.9 per 100,000. Since the 1980s re-admissions have consistently accounted for 70% of total admissions.
  • Over half of all (53%) and first (56%) admissions were men. The 45-54 year age group had the highest rate of admission and over half (54%) of all admissions were single.
  • Admission rates for the unskilled group were highest for all and first admissions and were six times that of the lowest group, own account workers (self-employed people without employees).
  • Eleven per cent of admissions were non-voluntary.
  • Three main disorders accounted for two-thirds of all admissions: depressive disorders accounted for 31%, schizophrenia accounted for 20% and alcoholic disorders accounted for 18%.
  • Admission rates were highest in the Midland Health Board and lowest in the North-Eastern Health Board.
  • Forty per cent of admissions were to health board hospitals, 42% were to general hospital psychiatric units and 14% were to private hospitals. Striking differences were evident in the profile of patients admitted to, and discharged from, private and public hospitals.
  • Fifty per cent of admissions to health board hospitals and general hospital psychiatric units had manual occupations compared to 22% to private hospitals.
  • Only 9% of admissions to private hospitals had a diagnosis of schizophrenia, the condition most closely associated with socio-economic disadvantage, compared to 23% to health board hospitals and 20% to general hospital psychiatric units.
  • Four per cent of admissions to private hospitals were non-voluntary compared to 10% to general hospital psychiatric units and 14% to health board hospitals.
Discharges
  • There were 24,038 discharges and 266 deaths in 2001.
  • Fifty per cent of all discharges (including deaths) occurred within two weeks of admission, while only 2% occurred after one year or more in hospital.
  • The average length of stay on discharge (excluding patients in hospital for one year or more) was 26.2 days.
  • Persons admitted with organic psychoses had the longest average length of stay at 37.1 days, followed by patients with schizophrenia, at 35.6 days. Patients with alcoholic disorders had the shortest average length of stay, at 13.7 days.
  • Twenty-two per cent of discharges from health board hospitals and general hospital psychiatric units occurred within one week of admission compared to 9% from private hospitals.
  • While private hospitals had a longer length of stay for each discharge, at 40.8 days, compared to 22.0 days in general hospital psychiatric units and 25.8 days in health board hospitals, the proportion of re-admissions to private hospitals was smaller, at 59%, compared to 72% to health board hospitals and to general hospital psychiatric units.
Children's Centres
  • There were 61 admissions to children?s centres in 2001.
  • Males accounted for over half (54%) of these admissions.
  • One quarter of children admitted were aged 15 years, 18% were aged 16 years and 16% were aged 14 years.
  • Depressive disorders accounted for just over one quarter (26%) of all admissions, neuroses accounted for 23%, while conduct disorders accounted for 15%.
In-patient Census
  • There were 4,256 patients resident in Irish psychiatric hospitals on 31 December 2001.
  • Males accounted for over half (55%) of in-patients.
  • One third of in-patients were aged 45-64 years, one quarter were aged 20-44 years, while a further one fifth were aged 65-74 years.
  • The 75 year and over group had the highest rate of hospitalisation.
  • Thirty-seven per cent of residents had a diagnosis of schizophrenia, 18% had a diagnosis of depressive disorders, while 14% had a diagnosis of mental handicap.
  • Forty-two per cent of in-patients were in hospital for five years or more. Community Psychiatric Services
  • There were 237,667 attendances at 254 out patient clinics in 2001. Return attendances comprised 89% (211,138) of total attendances.
  • There were 1,145 places in 63 day hospitals and 2,498 places in 104 day centres.
  • There were 3,077 places in 404 low, medium and high support community residences. There were more places available in high support residences (1,345) compared to either low (1,109 places) or medium support (623 places).
Ends

For more information contact:
Gillian Markey, Communications Manager
Health Research Board
m 00353 87 2288514
t 00353 1 2345103
e gmarkey(at)hrb.ie

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