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This paper reports on a feasibility study and evaluation of a new type of cultural consultation service (CCS). This multi-component and systemic complex intervention was offered over 18 months to specialist mental health providers in one of the poorest regions of the UK. The service received 900 clinically related contacts and 99 in-depth consultations. Service users who were referred to the CCS had high levels of clinical needs with an average score of 15.9 on the Health of the Nation Outcomes Scale. Overall, Global Assessment of Function scores improved and there were trends for improvements in symptoms. The level of routine care (and by implication associated costs) significantly reduced after CCS intervention, due to a reduction in use of accident and emergency (A&E) services, psychiatrists and community psychiatric nurses (CPNs)/case managers. Cost analysis indicates that savings amounted to £497 per patient. The cost of intervention was no greater than usual care, and may reduce spend per patient over a 3-month follow-up and perhaps longer. More specifically, clinicians felt the cultural consultation service helped to improve the treatment plan (71%), engagement (50%), medication compliance (21%) and earlier discharge (7%).

Original publication




Journal article


International Review of Psychiatry

Publication Date





11 - 22