Using record linkage analysis to inform the development of an improved care pathway(s) for psychiatric and self-harm emergencies currently transferred by ambulance to Emergency Department

Principal / Lead investigator
Co-investigators / research team
Type of study

Record linkage analysis


Psychiatric emergencies, and episodes of self-harm, accounted for over 30,000 Scottish ambulance call-outs in 2011. The overwhelming majority of these people were taken directly to Emergency Departments (ED). There is mounting evidence and substantial concern that many of these people do not currently receive the most appropriate management and are at increased risk of suicide and repeat ED attendance. Evidence from other ambulance care pathways suggests that it is likely that mortality and morbidity levels for this patient group could be improved, and the service burden to ED reduced.

This study will be supported by the national electronic Data Research and Innovation Service (eDRIS) of the NHS Information Services Division (ISD), Scotland. eDRIS encompasses ISD’s record linkage services made available to researchers via the Farr Institute, Edinburgh.

This study will analyse anonymised routinely available data from the Unscheduled Care Datamart to inform the development of an improved care pathway(s) intervention. This includes data from the Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS), Emergency Departments; and General and Mental Health inpatient settings.

Who is the study sponsor?

University of Stirling

Does the study involve commercial partnership activity?

UKCRN portfolio number (if relevant)

Chief Scientific Office

Total grant value


Amount accruing to your group (if different)


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End date


How could this research potentially benefit patients?

The study findings will be used to inform future care planning policy and practice and research. An improved care pathway(s) intervention will developed using the study's findings and provide the basis of future grant applications for pragmatic trials of its effectiveness.

Further information (e.g. related web link)

To follow

Outputs generated (Reports / Publications / Impact)

To follow