Liaison Psychiatry / Paediatric Liaison Network

Liaison psychiatrists work at the interface between physical and psychological health.

Providing specialist mental health assessment and treatment for patients attending general hospitals, they deal with a range of problems including self-harm, adjustment to illness and physical and psychological co-morbidities.

The clinical content of liaison psychiatry practice is complex, and every day brings a new challenge.

Liaison Psychiatrists educate general hospital colleagues to improve their knowledge, skills and confidence in the basics of management of common mental health problems that they encounter in their practice.

Liaison psychiatrists work with medical and surgical colleagues as their patients can have high levels of mental health problems.

Also, patients with chronic disease may have difficulty managing their condition which liaison psychiatric input can help.

Child and Adolescent Mental Health is moving increasingly under the spotlight on political and public agendas. We are seeing almost daily media articles focusing on the rising rates of acute presentations of children and adolescents in crisis to Emergency Departments (ED), as well as the expanding waiting lists for community Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). Although there have been developments in policy to address the needs of young people with mental health difficulties such as Future in Mind1, the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health2 and the Long Term Plan3; there is still a long way to go to achieve parity with adult mental health services, let alone physical health provisions.

The Psychiatric Liaison Accreditation Network (PLAN) Accreditation Committee were keen to broaden the scope of the current PLAN Quality Standards to encompass patients of all ages.

The standards in this document have been developed from current legislation, guidance and experts, and shared with members of the RCPsych Paediatric Liaison Network6 for their input and approval.

Quality Standards for Children and Young People for Liaison Psychiatry Services Royal College of Pschiatrists April 2019

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