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Psychiatric liaison service secures national funding

Posted: 24/09/20

A NEWCASTLE psychiatric team has received national funding from NHS England which will help transform the service.

The Newcastle Psychiatric Liaison Team, part of Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (CNTW), will benefit from NHS England’s Transformation of Psychiatric Liaison Funds, which aims to develop a CORE-24 service in teams that cover hospitals with an Accident & Emergency Department.

A CORE-24 service covers emergency presentations throughout an acute hospital and aims to respond to these presentations and begin assessment within an hour. By 2023, all acute hospitals will have a dedicated 24-hour mental health input.

The Newcastle Psychiatric Liaison Team is made up of consultant psychiatrists, mental health nurses and junior doctors specialising in the treatment and assessment of adults with mental health needs. Based on the Leazes Wing at the Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI), the team works closely with colleagues in Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals Trust (NuTH).

Working across the entire acute hospital, the team acts as the core link between mental health and acute trusts advocating for the mental health of patients. They operate 24/7, supporting wards in the management of patients admitted to the RVI who have a mental disorder and supporting with potentially complex decisions around mental capacity.

The service has received funding to enhance its staff offer, ensuring there are enough people to manage the workload in a busy service that covers approximately 1,800 beds. There are a number of exciting opportunities to join the team at a time of change and development.

Kate Chartres, Mental Health Nurse Consultant at CNTW and Network Clinical Lead for NHS England, said: “We work to challenge the stigma and attitudes around those with mental health problems.

“Psychiatric liaison is currently high on the national agenda, with plans to embed it into all emergency departments and the wider hospital environment. The team is going through a time of exciting change and it’s a great time to come into this field.

“As a team we aim to develop the service, offering individual development packages for staff to ensure that we achieve our aim of being among the best services in the country where evidence-based practice and continuing improvement are fundamental to the service we provide.”

The Newcastle Psychiatric Liaison Team is looking for enthusiastic experienced individuals to work with people with a diverse range of mental illnesses. This includes those presenting as high risk coming in to the emergency department, those with comorbid physical and mental health problems and people with organic illnesses including dementia and delirium.

A close working relationship between staff from CNTW and NuTH is essential for delivery of the service. An important part of the team’s role is to challenge the stigma around mental health. This is done by offering both formal and informal education to acute colleagues, providing medication advice, psychosocial interventions, psychoeducation, onward signposting and referral to other services.

Rated Outstanding by the CQC, CNTW is a leading provider of mental health and disability services in the North East and north Cumbria.

For more information on the vacancies in the team, search NHS Jobs.