Posted on: 19 April 2023

REST is a new service that provides specialist support to mental health inpatients who have drug or alcohol support needs.

The REST Team receives referrals from multiple sources but they have found that these could come through quicker and include more essential information

Staff were aware that, by offering support sooner, REST can improve patient flow through the service and help people back into their communities.

With support from the Quality Improvement Team, REST set itself an ambitious target of increasing referrals on Thames Ward at St Charles Hospital by 25 percent. At the same time, they wanted to:

  • establish a more accurate substance use screening process
  • make sure they are being linked to local community addiction services sooner


But how to achieve this?

Starting on the 1 December 2022, REST staff attended a multidisciplinary team huddle on Thames Ward to collect verbal patient referrals.

Two weeks later, they increased attendance by joining the meetings every day for one week.

After this proved useful, between 9 January and 3 February 2023, REST members started attending multidisciplinary teams’ meetings every weekday to gain more verbal patient referrals.

Here, they were able to offer advice about the importance of early referral, highlighting how it benefits both the patients and ward staff when patients with drug and alcohol problems are referred within the first 24 hours on the ward.

REST’s QI journey supports the idea that the team can have a more positive impact when information is effectively shared with colleagues.

They have now opened discussions with the pharmacy about offering Naloxone kits for every patient discharged from impatient mental health settings.