The aim of this survey was to determine attitudes among consultants in different specialities towards the development of a reciprocal liaison service providing access for psychiatric patients to medical and surgical liaison services equal to the access of medical and surgical patients to psychiatric liaison services. All medical, surgical and psychiatric consultants in a district health service were surveyed, with a total response rate of 48%.
The mean number of medical and surgical patients requiring a psychiatric liaison service was 6%. The mean number of psychiatric patients requiring medical and surgical liaison services was 11%. Ratings overall for various components of the two types of liaison service were generally similar, with acute assessments and follow-up being given a high priority for both types.
As liaison services are developed, the notion of equity of access for all patients is paramount. Commissioning of such services should thereby specify the reciprocal nature of development. This survey shows that generally there is a positive attitude to the development of such a service.
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