An exciting new psychiatric liaison service, developed to support adults living in north Derbyshire with mental health needs and/or issues with drugs and alcohol, officially launched on Thursday 29 January 2015.
The Liaison Team - which is run by Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust - has been established by integrating the former Mental Health Liaison & Self Harm Team with the Older Adults Mental Health Liaison Team and the Hospital Alcohol and Drugs Liaison Team (HADLT) to create a 24/7 single point of access service at Chesterfield Royal Hospital.
What does the new service offer?
Clinicians in the emergency department or on inpatient wards are now able to call upon the Liaison Team to offer a comprehensive advice, support and signposting service to patients over the age of 17, where potential mental health and/or drug and alcohol issues are identified. On referral the team will offer a high-quality intervention, assessment and discharge process that covers all aspects of mental health - including drug and alcohol use and self-harming.
The number of doctors and nurses working in the service has been increased in order to provide the highest standards of care in the emergency department and across all inpatient areas of the Chesterfield Royal Hospital. Clinicians working within the existing teams were appointed to the new service to ensure the knowledge and skill levels of the Liaison Team were maintained.
Why is the Liaison Team needed?
Research shows that untreated mental health issues can lead to people spending longer in hospital and to poorer physical health outcomes. By working with other clinical colleagues, the Liaison Team is making sure that patients get the right help, at the right time, in the right place. They also provide a vital educational resource to staff throughout the hospital - to raise awareness and understanding of mental health needs and recognising the signs and symptoms.
The launch of the Liaison Team in Chesterfield follows the success of a similar team commissioned for the Royal Derby Hospital during 2013.
The Liaison Team, staffed by Derbyshire Healthcare but based at Chesterfield Royal Hospital, is an example of the kind of collborative, smarter working that is being developed in north Derbyshire through the 21st Century #JoinedUpCare programme. View a short YouTube film made by the 21C #JoinedUpCare team about the new service.
'Expert advice and support'
Ifti Majid, Chief Operating Officer of Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, believes that the Liaison Team will be invaluable for staff and patients at Chesterfield Royal Hospital. He said:
“The Liaison Team will significantly improve the quality of care and experience patients receive at the Royal by identifying mental health needs or issues with drugs and alcohol early. The team will offer expert advice and support to those who need it and signpost people to the appropriate healthcare services for specialist care and treatment depending on their health requirements.”
Gavin Boyle, Chief Executive of Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust,said:
“I’m delighted that our organisations have joined forces to improve care and services for citizens in North Derbyshire. By offering immediate help, across seven days a week, we are offering a consistent high-quality service to those that need this vital support.”
Gareth Harry, Chief Commissioning Officer at NHS Hardwick Clinical Commissioning Group, which provided the extra £900,000 funding required to create a 24/7 Liaison Team, with an increased number of doctors, nurses and admin staff, said:
“We agreed to fund this new service as we firmly believe that the new integrated Liaison Team will improve the experience of people presenting themselves at the Royal who have mental health or substance misuse problems.
“Research shows that 1 in 4 patients admitted to hospital with a physical illness also have a mental health condition. The 24/7 service will allow patients to receive the psychiatric and physical care they need under one roof and identify any associated mental health or drug and alcohol issues early. This is a win-win for patients, who’ll experience seamless care, and for the NHS, which will be able to save money by reducing readmissions and the number of people occupying hospital beds.”