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January 2014
Society of Flemish Neurologists and Psychiatrists (Belgium)

Growing number of forced admissions

During the last couple of years, the number of forced admissions in psychiatry is growing fast. In order to put a stop to this, Flemish psychiatrists advocate a radical new approach. Jo Vandeurzen, Secretary of health in Flanders wants more patients to be cared for in the community itself, instead of (in) hospitals.

The Flemish Association of Psychiatry is deeply concerned about the high number of forced admissions in Flanders. In a recently published report, Flemish care inspection counted 3.065 forced admissions in 2011. In 2007, this amounted to only 2.562.

“Problematic behavior”, emphasizes Geert Dom (president, Flemish Association of Psychiatry), “leads too quickly to forced admission”. He prefers an ambulatory treatment, whether or not forced, in which someone with an acute crises is treated at home.

Secretary Vandeurzen thinks likewise. He is devoted to a shift in mental health care, from institution-centered care to community-centered care.

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Quality Indicator Project: measuring quality of mental health care

By the year 2014, quality of mental health care will be measurable and visible. This is at least the ambition of the Flemish Government. The Quality Indicator Project (QIP) is the way to accomplish that. Currently, the Flemish government and representatives from the broad mental health care sector, of which the Flemish Association of Psychiatry (VVP), are in the process of developing quality indicators for mental health care. QIP president(and president of the VVP) Prof. Dr. Dom: “I am thrilled that our association plays an important role in this unique and ambitious project”. 

The QI–project was originally designed to measure quality in the somatic health care sector. By the beginning of 2013, it was also introduced in the mental health care sector. Since then, five multidisciplinary development groups are charged with the task to develop specific quality indicators in different domains: patient security, continuity of care, patient participation, depression in the elderly, and behavioral disorder in children. 

The project is broadly based in the sector. No less than 112 caregivers from 69 organizations give their best in the development groups. Also former patients and their families are closely involved. 

The Flemish Association for Psychiatry provides the fivechairs of the development groups and thereby plays a crucial role in the project. VVPpresident Geert Dom: “We are thrilled to play an important role in this unique and ambitious project. Unique because of the bottom-up approach; the project arises totally from the field. Ambitious because of the strict deadline and the multidisciplinary character of the development groups”. 

Thomas Detombe

Society of Flemish Neurologists and Psychiatrists (Belgium) 

 

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