Publication date: Jan 19, 2024
The Homecare Service was developed as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, providing all the elements of a mental health inpatient programme remotely, in the comfort and safety of the service user’s home thus reducing the need for a physical admission. The aim of this study was to explore service user experiences of a remote virtual inpatient care at an Irish independent mental health service. All participants who had a virtual admission in a 3-month period were invited to complete a series of questions via an online survey. Three open-ended questions generated qualitative data from this mixed methods study, which were thematically analysed. Three themes reflected service user experience: ‘The Homecare Service: a viable alternative to inpatient care’; ‘Importance of relationships’ and ‘Technology and Homecare. ‘ Overall, there was general satisfaction with the service. This study provided a good opportunity to identify issues that have emerged considering the prompt implementation of the initiative. Feedback relating to improvements can be implemented in future service delivery.