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Housing services for people with mental disorders in England: patient characteristics, care provision and costs

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Background and aims

Since de-institutionalisation, housing services have taken a central role in the care of patients with severe mental illness. Yet, little is known about the characteristics of patients in different housing services, what care they receive, and what costs are generated. This study aimed to assess patient characteristics, care provision and costs in different types of housing services in England.


In 12 representative local areas in England, 250 housing services were randomly selected. Information on services, characteristics of randomly selected patients and care received were obtained from managers.


Data from 153 services (61% response rate) and 414 patients were analysed. Most patients receive support with activities of daily living and are involved in some sort of occupational activities. 52% have a care co-ordinator in a community mental health team. Care provision and costs differed significantly between care homes, supported housing services and floating support services.


Quality standards may have to be defined and applied to ensure that all patients in housing services receive appropriate care. More input of mental health services may be required for the rehabilitation and recovery of patients.

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We would like to thank the Steering Group and experts who supported the study: Dr. Frank Holloway (Chair), Mike Aimey, Zoe Robinson, Dr. Helen Killaspy, Prof. Gyles Glover, Vanessa Pinfold, David Morris, Dr. Walid Fakhoury, Nicola Vick, Sue Talbot, Dr. Dirk Claassen, Prof. Sarah Curtis, and Dr. Giovanni di Girolamo, and in particular Dr. Michael Clark who organised the Steering Group. We are also grateful to the managers who provided the information in the study and Dr. Duolao Wang for his statistical advice.

Conflict of interest statement

The study was funded by the Department of Health.

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Correspondence to Stefan Priebe.

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Priebe, S., Saidi, M., Want, A. et al. Housing services for people with mental disorders in England: patient characteristics, care provision and costs. Soc Psychiat Epidemiol 44, 805–814 (2009).

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