Early facilitated discharge in acute mental health



To evaluate the delivery of an early discharge service from acute mental health wards to inform service development and identify research priorities.



Phase 1a ‘Rapid Review’ of the literature to assess what is already known about early discharge from acute mental health wards

Phase 1b Service evaluation re-analysis To provide a collated analysis of service data from across three Home Treatment teams providing an Early Discharge

Phase 2 Stakeholder Consultation To ensure that findings from phase 1 are meaningful and acceptable to people who commission, liaise with, deliver and receive care and treatment.

To engage stakeholders in discussion and debate about the future of early discharge services and identify priorities



The process of discharge from acute mental health wards is complex and stressful for the person and their support network. The first two weeks following discharge are associated with increased risks to the person’s safety and recovery. Despite these risks, going home as early as possible can help people maintain important relationships, reduce the stigma they experience and is desired by many people experiencing acute distress.

The impetus for providing specific services and interventions to ‘facilitate’ discharge have their origins in the USA and Australia and early discharge has been a feature of UK policy for the delivery of Crisis and Home Treatment services for over a decade. Whilst systematic reviews have been conducted focusing on crisis and home treatment teams as a whole, none focus specifically on early facilitated discharge.



Dr Nicola Clibbens, PhD, MA(Ed.), RN (Mental Health), Lecturer Mental Health, School of Healthcare, University of Leeds
Ms Deborah Harrop, BA(Hons), MA, PGCert, FHEA, Information Specialist, Centre for Health and Social Care Research, Sheffield Hallam University, Ms Sally Blackett, BSc Mental Health Nursing, RMN, RMNH, Practitioner, Crisis and Home Treatment, Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust


Funding body

The Burdett Trust for Nursing, £7999k



Nicola Clibbens