The main specific aim of the audit is to identify and examine any possible sources of delay in the process of assessment for compulsory admission under the Mental Health (Northern Ireland) Order 1986.
These assessments involve high levels of need, risk and complexity. They also require the coordination of different professionals and agencies. There were no issues or concerns identified in the majority of assessments considered in the audit. There were delays identified, mainly due to the difficulties in coordinating professionals and in securing a bed, but in only 3/189 (2%) of the assessments delay was identified as contributing to increased distress and risk. Although these are very small numbers, the potential outcomes of delay that may increase risk still makes this concerning.