New dedicated hospital service improves patients’ mental health

Patients in North Kirklees are now getting an improved service when in hospital.

The new service has been introduced at Dewsbury hospital, making sure that patients’ mental health needs are looked after just as well as their physical ones when attending A&E or as an inpatient. Over 2,600 people have used the service to date across all 3 Mid Yorkshire Hospital sites.

Mental health problems can develop when someone is admitted to hospital following trauma, injury or a deterioration in their physical health. Sometimes, mental health difficulties may have been present for a while and come to light during admission into hospital.

The new service, commissioned by North Kirklees Clinical Commissioning Group, is called Acute Liaison Psychiatry and works alongside A&E and ward medical teams helping to treat patients’ mental health needs as well as their physical ones.  Patients recovering from a physical condition often improve more quickly if mental health problems are treated at the same time. This means that they often don’t need to stay in hospital as long and they are less likely to be admitted.

The Acute Liaison Psychiatry team is not only helping patients with their mental health needs but also supporting nurses and doctors in being able to identify when patients might need mental health support.

psychiatric liaison team

Photograph: L to R Andy Connolly (Liaison Psychiatry team Manager), Michelle Thornton (Psychiatric Liaison Practitioner), Ravi Lali (Ward Sister, Medical Admission Unit), Gill Petyt Stanley (Psychiatric Liaison Practitioner)

The new service doesn’t stop at the hospital; it also connects with community mental health teams to provide ongoing support to those people who need it after leaving hospital.

Andy Connolly, Acute Liaison Psychiatry Team Manager said: “The Liaison Psychiatry team has only been in place since October 2014 year but we are already seeing a significant reduction in the number of people being readmitted with associated mental health problems.  We are also seeing a reduction in length of stay where mental health issues may be preventing patients from going home.  Working alongside our medical colleagues the hospital is able to offer a more responsive service to an individual patient’s needs”.

Visit Our Street to watch Lily Barnet’s animation to find out more of how about the new liaison service.


Further information contact John Kerr, Tel: 01924 317659

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