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

CR183. Liaison psychiatry for every acute hospital: Integrated mental and physical healthcare

Price: £0.00

Approved: Oct 2013

Published: Dec 2013

Status: current

Number of pages: 78

Review by: 2018

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Liaison psychiatry is a critical service that should be integral to all acute hospitals. Services comprise multidisciplinary teams skilled to integrate mental and physical healthcare in people whose mental health problems arise in, or have an impact on management of, physical illness and symptoms.

The report starts with chapters that summarise existing evidence of need for liaison psychiatry services in all acute hospitals and then provides evidence for the range of problems Addressed, and range of interventions required, to meet core mental health demands in acute hospitals.

Further chapters show case examples that demonstrate the benefit of services; provide detailed considerations for service design, including principle organisational standards, access and response standards, hours of operation, remit and staffing; governance is addressed as a range of clinical and organisational risks and how these can be reduced by liaison psychiatry services are described. Lastly, key considerations required to set local standards for common mental health-related problems that occur in acute hospitals are provided. Each chapter ends with a summary of the key messages.

This report replaces CR118. Psychiatric services to accident and emergency departments from 2004.



  • Endorsements
  • Working group
  • Acknowledgements
  • Executive summary: key messages
  • Background
  • Scale and nature of problems needing specialist services
  • Case examples illustrating gains to be made from investment in a liaison psychiatry service within every acute hospital
  • Service design
  • Integrated governance of liaison psychiatry
  • Clinical topics for mental healthcare in acute hospitals
  • References
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