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Transitions in mental health care: The European Psychiatric Association contribution to reform in Bulgaria

Beezhold, J; Stoyanov, D; Nakov, V; Killaspy, H; Gaebel, W; Zarkov, Z; Hinkov, H; (2020) Transitions in mental health care: The European Psychiatric Association contribution to reform in Bulgaria. European Psychiatry , 63 (1) , Article e48. 10.1192/j.eurpsy.2020.43. Green open access

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Abstract

Background: The Bulgarian Ministry of Health invited the European Psychiatric Association (EPA) to evaluate Bulgarian mental health care service provision in 2018. Bulgarian mental health services face very significant challenges including a legacy of historic underfunding, internal conflicts, poor planning, and the emigration of very high numbers of younger skilled staff that had followed accession to the European Union. There were significant disputes between stakeholders regarding the way forward and had been at least two unsuccessful previous external agency interventions that had attempted to find solutions. / Method: This EPA position paper describes in detail the EPA mission to Bulgaria including methodology, findings, recommendations, and finally the positive actions and changes that are now underway as a result of the EPA report and intervention aimed at contributing towards improving Bulgarian mental health services. / Results: After meetings with multiple stakeholders in the Bulgarian mental health system and analysis of data on service delivery, workforce, funding and configuration the EPA Panel agreed a list of twenty recommendations for change. / Conclusions: The EPA mission, with the collaboration of multiple stakeholders in Bulgaria, was successful in stimulating high level government action to improve mental health services. Despite longstanding differences, it was possible to involve the stakeholders in constructive dialogue. The importance of “speaking with one voice” was a key lesson learned.

Type: Article
Title: Transitions in mental health care: The European Psychiatric Association contribution to reform in Bulgaria
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1192/j.eurpsy.2020.43
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1192/j.eurpsy.2020.43
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author(s) 2020. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of European Psychiatric Association. This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: Bulgaria, European Psychiatric Association, Mental Health Services, Quality Improvement
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Division of Psychiatry
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10097238
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