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Liaison psychiatry services in south England

  • Jackie Gordon (a1) and Sonia Wolf (a1)
Abstract
Aims and method

To investigate liaison psychiatry services across 38 acute trusts in the south of England. We used a telephone survey and compared the results to service structure and function as recommended by the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

Results

Approximately two-thirds of trusts surveyed had a dedicated liaison service and this was not significantly related to hospital size. Most liaison teams were understaffed in all disciplines and only a third had a full-time consultant. Services for specialist patient groups were generally well provided for; 37% of teams had been created in the past 5 years and 33% were planning to increase their staffing levels in future.

Clinical implications

Liaison services in the south of England are similar to those in other parts of the UK that have been surveyed. Although the services did not meet the Colleges' recommendations, our study shows some recent growth and development in this specialty.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Corresponding author
Jackie Gordon (jackie.gordon@sussexpartnership.nhs.uk).
Footnotes
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Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes
References
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1 Royal College of Physicians, Royal College of Psychiatrists. The Psychological Care of Medical Patients: A Practical Guide, 2nd edn (College Report CR108). Royal College of Physicians & Royal College of Psychiatrists, 2003.
2 Swift, G, Guthrie, E. Liaison psychiatry continues to expand: developing services in the British Isles. Psychiatr Bull 2003; 27: 339–41.
3 Ruddy, R, House, A. A standard liaison psychiatry service structure? A study of the liaison psychiatry services within six strategic health authorities. Psychiatr Bull 2003; 27: 457–60.
4 Kewley, T, Bolton, JI. A survey of liaison psychiatry services in general hospitals and accident and emergency departments: do we have the balance right? Psychiatr Bull 2006; 30: 260–3.
5 Sakhuja, D, Bisson, JI. Liaison psychiatry services in Wales. Psychiatr Bull 2008; 32: 134–6.
6 Academy of Medical Royal Colleges. Managing Urgent Mental Health Needs in the Acute Trust: A Guide by Practitioners, for Managers and Commissioners in England and Wales. Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, 2006.
7 Department of Health. Reorganisation of Ambulance Trusts, SHAs and PCTs. Department of Health, 2009 (http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Managingyourorganisation/Healthreform/DH_4135663).
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 1758-3209
  • EISSN: 1758-3217
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Liaison psychiatry services in south England

  • Jackie Gordon (a1) and Sonia Wolf (a1)
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