Psychiatric Intensive Care Units (PICUs) evolved during the 1990s to provide care for patients in an acutely disturbed phase of a serious mental disorder who display behaviour that cannot be managed safely on an ordinary psychiatric ward. An analysis of 332 patients admitted to 7 English PICUs found that they were predominantly White men, in their mid thirties with complex needs and chronic psychotic illness, often complicated by substance misuse. Most people were admitted because of a perceived risk of violence to others. While most admissions were broadly in line with Department of Health guidelines some patients experienced an excessive length of PICU stay. Black African and Black Caribbean people were, proportionally, more likely to be admitted to a PICU.
Brown, Steve, Chhina, Navjyat and Dye, Stephen - The psychiatric intensive care unit: a prospective survey of patient demographics and outcomes at seven English PICUs Journal of Psychiatric Intensive Care June/December 2008, 4(1/2), 17-27