To set up a liaison psychiatry service for an obstetric department and review how much of the work involved in such a service can be undertaken by a senior registrar in two special interest sessions.
It was clear there was a demand for a service for women with psychiatric problems associated with childbirth. Referrals from colleagues in general psychiatry meant that the available time was soon used up. This did therefore not allow time to develop efficient systems for referral and management or to then see the extra referrals this would have produced. The limited and temporary service was well received by other professionals and by patients. The number of referrals received fell far short of the expected morbidity.
In an area with this number of births and its consequent level of psychiatric morbidity, it would not seem possible, within two special interest sessions, to develop a more formalised or comprehensive system.
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