To read this content please select one of the options below:

A service evaluation of the assessment process in a Step4 Psychological Therapies Service

Amie Robinson (Division of Psychiatry and Applied Psychology, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK.)
Danielle De Boos (Division of Psychiatry and Applied Psychology, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK.)
Nima Moghaddam (Trent DClinPsy Programme, University of Lincoln, Lincoln, UK.)

Mental Health Review Journal

ISSN: 1361-9322

Article publication date: 29 December 2022

5

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to improve the efficiency of the assessment process within a Step4 Psychological Therapies Service by identifying factors related to assessment non-attendance and service suitability for referred clients.

Design/methodology/approach

Referral and assessment information was accessed between October 2019 and March 2020 from Step4 routine service data, electronic client records where necessary and Step4 staff self-report questionnaires.

Findings

All clients offered an assessment during this time attended. Findings indicated several factors could influence service suitability in meeting client need. These included individual differences such as readiness to change, which was not necessarily identified at referral or prior to assessment, and potential systemic factors, such as the opt-in procedure, which possibly impeded access. Though the necessity for assessment in clarifying client needs and treatment was indicated, an assessment (from referral to assessment appointment) that led to discharge could take an excess of one working day of service time, associated with considerable opportunity cost to other clients awaiting assessment. Recommendations are made for improving assessment efficiency.

Originality/value

With a high prevalence of poor mental health in the UK, efforts must be made to identify and reduce additional demand upon service time and resources within mental health services to effectively meet people’s needs. Recommendations to improve assessment process efficiency include the use of a standardised referral form, offer of follow-up support procedures, increased client involvement, a streamlined opt-in battery and ongoing monitoring to ensure shared practice between clinicians. These are transferable to other mental health services, with implications for subsequent quality and timeliness of care.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Funding source declaration: There have been no funding or research grants received in the course of the study, research or assembly of the manuscript.

Data availability statement: The data that supports the findings of this study is available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.

Declaration of conflicts of interest: None.

Citation

Robinson, A., De Boos, D. and Moghaddam, N. (2022), "A service evaluation of the assessment process in a Step4 Psychological Therapies Service", Mental Health Review Journal, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/MHRJ-07-2022-0047

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles