Hospital patients in North Kirklees and Wakefield are now getting an improved service when in hospital.
The new service has been introduced at Pinderfields, Dewsbury and Pontefract hospitals, 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 NHS North Kirklees and Wakefield Clinical Commissioning Groups and provided by South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, 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 can 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 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.
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 have only been in place since October 2014 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 people from going home. Working alongside our medical colleagues the hospital is able to offer a more responsive service to an individual patient’s needs”.