Acute psychiatric assessments outside hospital by the PAM unit

With the aim to work with acute suicide prevention, improve quality of acute psychiatric assessment outside the hospital, as well as decrease stigma, the PAM unit operates every day from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. When responding to psychiatric emergencies, the unit relieves the police and the somatic ambulance.

Photo: Yanan Li.

The PAM unit is a cooperation between Norra Stockholms psykiatri and AISAB, the somatic ambulance in Stockholm city. AISAB is in charge of the vehicle and a paramedic while Norra Stockholms psykiatri staffs the car with two specialist nurses. The vehicle is dispatched and managed from the Emergency dispatch centre for assignments across Stockholm county.

The PAM unit uses the same communication system as the police, ambulance and fire brigade. The staff can access medical journals with the digital medical record system in Stockholm using 4G.

Statistics from 2019

2,510 callouts to 1,976 patients, equally many men as women.

Approximately 200 consultations per month, which amounts to 6-7 per work session

  • more than 40 % could stay at home after assessment
  • a little more than one in four patients were transported to the psychiatric emergency clinic in Stockholm county
  • 15 % were transported to an addiction emergency clinic
  • 3 % were transported to child and adolescent psychiatry clinic
  • the youngest was 4 years, the oldest 96 years.


The PAM-unit is funded by Stockholm county council.


PAM started as a project in 2015–a response to the need for mobile emergency psychiatric assessment outside the hospital area. It became permanent part of the prehospital emergency services in 2017.


The PAM-unit in a film showing a staged callout, courtesy of AISAB.

More information

Read the results from a survey about the patients’ experiences of the encounter with the PAM unit.

Read a follow up from the first year of the two-year long project.