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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

Faculty of Liaison Psychiatry

Liaison psychiatry is the sub-specialty which provides psychiatric treatment to patients attending general hospitals, whether they attend out-patient clinics, accident & emergency departments or are admitted to in-patient wards. Therefore it deals with the interface between physical and psychological health.

There is now abundant evidence that medical and surgical patients have a high prevalence of psychiatric disorder which can be effectively treated with psychological or pharmacological methods.

Liaison Psychiatry Service - Created by Creative Connection for Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust.




Credential pilot

  • The Royal College of Psychiatrists, in partnership with Health Education England (HEE) are running a pilot to develop a credential in Liaison Psychiatry. 

            Find out more about the pilot here            




  • College Report 183: Liaison Psychiatry for every acute hospital: Integrated mental and physical healthcare - Liaison psychiatry is a critical service that should be integral to all acute hospitals. Effective liaison psychiatry can reduce avoidable costs and ineffective or inappropriately located management of mental health problems by reduced length of stay, readmissions and investigations, and improved care of medically unexplained symptoms, dementia and long-term conditions.  This report summarises the evidence, provides case examples and outlines key considerations required to set local standards.
  • Framework for routine outcome measurement in Liaison Psychiatry – providing a framework for routine outcome measurement across liaison psychiatry services, with the inclusion of specified measures for all services to use.
  •  Improving Mental & Physical Health – Providing links to resources for supporting the physical health of people with mental health problems and learning difficulties and the mental health of people with physical health problems.
  • No Health without Mental Health: campaign by RCPsych and the Academy of Royal Medical Colleges to strengthen both the provision of mental health care to people with physical illness, and the quality of physical healthcare provided to people with mental health problems.
  • The Psychiatric Liaison Accreditation Network (PLAN) is the Psychiatric Liaison Accreditation Network run by the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Centre for Quality Improvement (CCQI). It is open to all liaison services in the UK and Ireland. Its aim is to support liaison services to continually improve and develop at a suitable pace.
  • Centre for Mental Health  “An effective liaison psychiatry service offers the prospect of saving money as well as improving health.” 
  • Joint Commissioning Panel for Mental Health Guidance on commissioning liaison mental health services.
  • Mental Health Partnerships Developing models for liaison psychiatry services



West London Mental Health Trust and Health Education North West London

Mental Awareness e-Training for Emergency Staff  (MATES)

            - Self-harm MATES video

            - Psychosis MATES video

            - Delirium in dementia MATES video

            - Anxiety in respiratory illness MATES video



The current editors are Dr Edwina Williams, Dr James Stallard and Dr Oliver Gale-Grant.

Should you require a copy of any previous newsletters not currently available on the website, please contact Francis Maunze – the College archivist.




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Faculty Report

Framework for routine outcome measurement in Liaison Psychiatry




JISC Update: 


The RCPsych Paediatric Liaison Network

The RCPsych Paediatric Liaison Network is an international group of child and adolescent psychiatrists who work with paediatric staff. We discuss clinical and non-clinical issues, particularly policy and the promotion of mental health in paediatric practice. We meet in conferences in various UK locations twice a year.  If you are interested in joining, contact the group c/o Stella Galea, committee manager.

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