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Liaison Psychiatry Service


Philosophy of Care

The general hospital is a place with an especially high prevalence of mental health problems. The philosophy of the Liaison Psychiatry Service is to ensure that those people in the general hospital with mental health needs will have access to a specialist psychiatric service. This Service is provided by a Multi Disciplinary Team of mental health professionals. The rights of patients and the rights of those who care for them will be respected and supported by members of the Liaison Mental Health Team. Their dignity and value as human beings shall always be recognised.

The CUH Liaison Psychiatry Service aims to provide patients in the general hospital setting with defined and timely access to comprehensive biopsychosocial assessment and management by a specialist multi-disciplinary team of mental health professionals. The Service will be committed to an evidence based clinical practice.


Model of Service Delivery

The Liaison Mental Health Team is a multi disciplinary team consisting of professionals from various backgrounds including psychiatry, nursing, psychology and administrative staff. The team provides a service that addresses the mental health needs of adults presenting in the general hospital setting, specifically Cork University Hospital. This is a consultation service without separate psychiatric beds. The shared model of the team is a bio-psychosocial model - in essence, the integration of biological, psychological and socio-cultural bodies of knowledge as related to health. The team strives to promote mental health through direct intervention with adults attending CUH and also through education and training of hospital staff. The team has established links with the local Mental Health Services, GPs, voluntary and advocacy groups within the community.


Who The Service Is For

The CUH Liaison Psychiatry Service is a specialty adult mental health service that accepts referrals of Inpatients, Outpatients and Emergency Department attendees at CUH. The Service accepts referrals of adults ie those ages 18 years and over. The Service does not accept referrals of children ie those under 18 years of age. Such referrals are directed to child and adolescent mental health services. Adult inpatients over 65 years are assessed and managed by both Liaison Psychiatry and Old Age Psychiatry.


What To Refer To The Service

The principal activities in this regard are the assessment and management of persons having:

  1. Mental ill health during the course of general hospital treatment.
  2. Adjustment to illness.
  3. Self harm/suicidal risk.
  4. Somatisation (the physical manifestation of psychological distress).
  5. Organic mental disorders including delirium.
  6. Alcohol and drug misuse as it relates to physical health.