The service offers a mental health assessment to all adults (18 years and over) attending Accident and Emergency (A&E) departments who have mental health concerns including self harm.
It also assists acute general hospitals to assess and treat people with mental health concerns who have been admitted with an existing medical problem.
In particular the general service:
- Co-ordinates and provides a psycho-social assessment to individuals in A&E who have self harmed
- Provides mental health assessment, consultation and interventions for individuals in general hospital who have a wide range of mental health related problems
- Provides short term support to patients with mental health issues and management problems
- Provides prompt and effective means of communication between acute hospital services, primary care, secondary mental health services, inpatient services and voluntary agencies eg Samaritans
- Assesses alcohol use with service users and provides onward referral to other agencies
- Provides supportive educational and training initiatives, relating to the types of psychological and mental health problems likely to be encountered within the general hospital setting
- Provides advice and support to staff where required in the care and treatment of people with mental health problems
- Acts as a source of reference and advice to health colleagues, thereby promoting a positive attitude to mental health and those who experience mental health problems.
The service also provides specific later life mental health support and advice to acute health trusts. Up to 70% of hospital beds are currently occupied by older people, of whom half may have cognitive impairment, including dementia and delirium.
The later life service:
- Provides support and advice on management and care planning, including discharge planning and appropriate referral on for older people with confirmed or suspected mental health problems.
- Contributes to mental health education and training for hospital staff, to governance and audit arrangements to promote good care, and to the development of policies and procedures for good-quality mental health care.