The Temporary Emergency Unit (TOA) in Amsterdam: experience with admissions of acute cases in a big city
The Temporary Emergency Unit (toa) is a special unit that was set up as an interim centre for severely disturbed persons who otherwise would have been sent directly to one of Amsterdams five closed psychiatric units. In this article we report our preliminary analyses of patient and admission data relating to registrations at the toa in the year 2002. The setting up of the toa led to a decrease in the number of outplacements in spite of an increase in the number of compulsory admissions, reduced the pressure on isolation cells in the closed units and substantially shortenend the stays in cells at police stations. The data indicate that the toa is acting as a buffer and as such is performing a useful role.