What we do

We offer a supportive and caring service for people with mental health needs who are staying in the general hospital. A member of your medical team will discuss referral with you. If you agree to this, a member of the Liaison Psychiatry Team will come to see you and make an assessment of your needs.

This assessment will involve you talking to a member of the team about your situation. The meeting will take place privately and usually takes around one hour. Our aim is to work in partnership with you to find ways to help.

Significant numbers of people using the general hospital will have mental health needs in addition to the physical problem that prompted their original referral or admission. To meet these needs, our Liaison Psychiatry Team can offer:

  • Assessment of your mental health needs
  • Short term treatment and support whilst you are in hospital
  • Referral to relevant services
  • Support and advice to carers.

We accept referrals from inpatient wards and the Emergency Department. These include requests for specialist mental health assessment and interventions to people of all ages from 18 to end of life.  The mental health presentations of those accessing our services are varied and include self-harm as well as both functional and organic mental illness.

Medical and surgical patients have high levels of mental health problems which can be treated with psychological or pharmacological methods, and patients with chronic disease such as diabetes or asthma can benefit from Liaison Psychiatry input if they are having difficulties managing their condition. Liaison Psychiatry teams work alongside colleagues from a wide range of medical and surgical specialities.

Our Liaison Psychiatry team also provide training and education of general hospital colleagues to improve their knowledge, skills and confidence in the basics of management of common mental health problems (depression, dementia, delirium, anxiety) that they encounter in their day-to-day practice.

We provide a 7 day per week in and out of hours comprehensive service to patients, clinicians and carers.

Accreditation

Our Liaison Psychiatry teams in North Devon and Exeter have achieved accreditation with the Psychiatric Liaison Accreditation Network (PLAN).

PLAN is an initiative of the College Centre for Quality Improvement (CCQI) who work with services to assure and improve the quality of psychiatric liaison in hospital settings.

The accreditation has been achieved with great partnership working with colleagues at the acute hospitals in Barnstaple (NDDH) and Exeter (RD&E).