Liaison psychiatry has emerged as a sub-speciality within general adult psychiatry, with specific experience and training being required to develop the skills and knowledge to address comorbid physical and psychiatric symptoms and illness (House & Creed, 1993; Lloyd, 2001). Older people often present with significant physical and psychiatric comorbidity (Ames et al, 1994; Holmes & House, 2000) and most old age psychiatry services receive one-quarter to one-third of referrals from general hospital wards (Anderson & Philpott, 1991). Despite this, there are no specific requirements for training in liaison psychiatry for old age psychiatrists at any level. The experience gained in assessing and treating general hospital referrals during basic and higher specialist training is felt to be adequate (Royal College of Psychiatrists, 1998).
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