ENRICH peer worker programme to enhance psychiatric discharge

  • Research type

    Research Study

  • Full title

    Enhanced discharge from inpatient to community mental health care (ENRICH): a programme of applied research to manualise, pilot and trial a Peer Worker intervention



  • Contact name

    Steve Gillard

  • Contact email


  • Sponsor organisation

    St George's, University of London

  • ISRCTN Number


  • Duration of Study in the UK

    3 years, 8 months, 28 days

  • Research summary

    Rates of readmission to hospital, and levels of suicide and self-harm are high the few weeks after discharge from a psychiatric ward. Inpatient care is very expensive and Mental Health Trusts are trying to reduce readmissions. Recent research suggests that the employment of ’Peer Workers’ in mental health services can be beneficial by using their own experiences of mental health problems to support service users. There is some evidence that Peer Workers can help people to stay out of hospital by supporting individual mental health recovery. Different approaches to employing Peer Workers have been tried nationally, but research about what works well and whether money is saved as a result, is still not clear.\n\nThe ENRICH team have developed an intervention in which Peer Workers are trained and supported to meet service users on the ward before discharge, and then continue to work with them in the community in the crucial post-discharge period. First, the team will carry out a review on any new research about Peer Workers whilst also work with expert panels to refine the intervention.\n\nA randomised control trial of the intervention will take place in 6 Mental Health Trusts. in each Trust half of the services users about to be discharged will be randomly selected to work with a Peer Worker, the other half will receive a discharge pack. This will be tested out in an initial short ’pilot trial’.\n\nIn the main trial we will keep a record of service user participants and ask them to complete questionnaires about their experiences on the ward and in the community a year after discharge. We will compare the group who worked with a Peer Worker with the participants who did not in order to see if Peer Workers make a difference to readmission rates and cost of services.

  • REC name

    London - London Bridge Research Ethics Committee

  • REC reference


  • Date of REC Opinion

    10 May 2016

  • REC opinion

    Further Information Favourable Opinion