Prolonged duration of untreated psychosis: the problems that needs addressing.

Poster C61, Saturday, October 22, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm, Le Baron

Alison R Yung1,2, Jack Cotter1, Elisabeth Zabel2, Paul French2,3; 1University of Manchester, Manchester, UK, 2Greater Manchester West NHS Mental Health Foundation Trust, 3University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK

In an attempt to reduce duration of untreated psychosis (DUP), NHS England set new targets to improve access to Early Intervention Services (EIS) that that came into effect in April 2016. Purpose: To examine DUP and pathways to care of patients entering an EIS in Greater Manchester, UK, for a 12 month period prior to the implementation of the NHS targets. Methods: Retrospective audit of routine data. Results: 165 individuals with first episode psychosis entered the service in the study period. Mean DUP was 21 months (median 6 months). Mean number of service contacts prior to entry into the EIS was 2 (median 2). Most individuals were referred from Community Mental Health Teams (CMHTs). Conclusions: Despite over 2 decades of early psychosis research and the establishment of EIS across England from the early 2000s, long DUP remains a problem. Previous research has found marked delays between assessment at secondary mental health services such as CMHTs and referral to EIS that contribute to prolonged DUP. Our study is consistent with this. The pathway to reaching EIS was suboptimal for many individuals. Our data provide a baseline. Similar data can be extracted after the implementation of the EIS targets to examine their effect on DUP and pathways to care. Training of clinicians that come into contact with possible first episode psychosis is needed to improve recognition of the illness and to ensure prompt referral to EIS. It is hoped that the NHS England targets will provide an impetus to reduce referral delays.

Topic Area: Service System Development and Reform

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