In-patient services refer to medical and nursing care that is provided in a mental health facility, such as a hospital. Admissions are usually of a short duration and most people go to hospital for treatment by choice.
Acute admission ward
This is an area of the hospital where patients are cared for on admission for treatment and assessment. After treatment, the vast majority of patients will be discharged home and follow-up care is provided by the out-patients clinic or day hospital. However, some patients may be transferred from an admission unit to a continuing care ward, a rehabilitation ward or a care of the elderly ward, according to their needs.
Continuing care ward
This is an in-patient facility that provides care for patients who often have long-term enduring mental illness. A small percentage will be discharged to another facility, i.e., a residential unit. The continuing care unit may also be used as a respite area for patients in the community who need continuing care.
This is an in-patient facility where the emphasis of care is on re-skilling patients with everyday living skills. This is done in order to improve their quality of life and help them regain a level of independence that will enable them to live in their homes or a residential facility.
Special care unit or secure ward
Sometimes it is necessary to care for and treat a patient in a safe and restricted environment due to the nature of their mental illness. This is usually a small unit within a hospital setting staffed by highly trained psychiatric nurses. The unit is locked and the environment is secure. Patients who, because of their mental illness, have disturbed behaviour that does not respond to treatment may require an admission to a secure unit.
Care of the elderly unit
This is a specialised unit for the 24-hour care and treatment of patients, usually those over 60 years of age, who have a mental illness or associated problems. The environment is designed to meet the needs of the elderly.
This is an in-patient facility for the assessment of particular skills by trained staff. There is an emphasis on improving social skills and other skills.
Discharge from hospital – what next?
The doctor will discuss with you, and your family as appropriate, what follow up care should include.
The follow-up options are: