An evaluation of two systems of in-patient care in a general hospital psychiatric unit II: measures of staff and patient performance


Mr C Long, Psychology Department St Andrew s Hospital Billing Road Northampton NN1 5JD England


This study reports on a comparison between a single ward and a two-ward system of acute in-patient care in a general hospital psychiatric unit It looked at job satisfaction, levels of stress, absenteeism/sickness and work proficiency amongst the staff and also at patients’ level of disturbed behaviour, length of stay and re-admission rates It was found that a continuous-care ward was associated with a lower level of behavioural disturbance and was preferred by the majority of staff, with some increase in job satisfaction and a decrease in stress The continuous-care ward was also associated with shorter admissions However, those who progressed through a two-ward system were less likely to be re-admitted within 3 months The implications of these results are discussed