We provide liaison mental health services for people with mental health needs accessing any of the five acute general hospitals in Surrey. In partnership with The Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, we have been awarded additional funding from NHS England which will allow the expansion of this service from April 2018.
Until now, the focus of liaison services has been on assessing emergency admissions. With this funding staffing levels can significantly increase across both sites. This will allow for a specialist service which can be embedded within the acute hospitals and enable bespoke training to improve mental health awareness amongst physical health care professionals.
It will also enable the team to approach patients from a more holistic model of care, treating mind and body together. For example this could be supporting someone recovering from a traumatic accident or coming to terms with a life changing diagnosis and supports our aim to assess emerging mental health problems before they reach crisis point in the future.
Matt Lamport, General Manager of Specialist Services at Surrey and Borders Partnership, said: “Our aim is to develop an approach that allows our liaison professionals to take the lead on implementing someone’s care plan, while they are still in hospital, rather than waiting for them to be discharged before their mental health needs are addressed”.
The additional funding will be provided initially for a 12 month period. During that period the project aims to show that this investment can generate overall cost savings. This is mainly related to reductions in length of stay for those admitted to hospital wards.