Liaison psychiatry

Liaison psychiatry bridges the gap between physical and mental healthcare.

Our services provide mental healthcare to people being treated for physical illness in general hospitals, whether they attend out-patient clinics, are admitted to inpatient wards or or present to the A&E department. The co-occurrence of mental and physical health problems is common among these patients, often leading to poorer health outcomes, delayed discharges and increased use of healthcare resources.

Our aim is to improve patient experience, quality and efficiency of service in the general hospitals by focusing on the significant number of patients that have mental health problems complicating their care and discharge. Some problems that may be referred to liaison psychiatry include:

  • Psychological reactions to physical illness
  • Deliberate self-harm
  • Medically unexplained symptoms
  • Organic mental disorders: delirium and dementia
  • Alcohol and substance misuse
  • Mental illness related to childbirth
  • Diagnostic difficulties
  • Abnormal illness behaviour
  • Behavioural disturbance
  • Medico-legal decisions
  • Assessment of capacity to refuse medical treatment

Our staff are based in some of London’s largest general and specialist hospitals to help detect mental health problems early and provide the necessary support.

How to access these services

Referrals are made through the general hospital by a health professional.

For further information contact:

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