We argue the case for In-patient liaison psychiatry In the UK. We undertook a case note review of the characteristics of a consecutive series of in-patient and day patient admissions to a specialist liaison psychiatry unit in Leeds. We reviewed the literature on in-patient units for the treatment of similar patients, most of which came from the USA.
Physical morbidity was high in the sample. Forty-four per cent had been admitted for physical problems in the year before admission to the unit. Twenty-three per cent were taking five or more drugs for physical disorders at the time of admission, 86% were not in paid employment at the time of admission. Treatment involved integrating treatment for physical Illness, and physical and psychosocial treatments for mental disorder. We identified no reports of in-patient units in the UK doing similar work.
In-patient liaison psychiatry is neglected in the UK, to the detriment of a small but important group of patients with coexistent severe physical and mental disorder.
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