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Liaison old age psychiatry 

Liaison old age psychiatry
Chapter:
Liaison old age psychiatry
Author(s):

John Holmes

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199644957.003.0025
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date: 21 November 2017

About one-third of general hospital beds are occupied by older people with dementia, delirium or depression. All these conditions bring poorer outcomes for individuals and organisations alike. In response to this, liaison psychiatry services for older people have evolved in order to provide timely mental health assessment, ongoing treatment and signposting to other mental health services. They also provide teaching and training for general hospital colleagues from a wide range of disciplines. There is wide variation in liaison service configurations and activity, from a part-time nurse to a large multidisciplinary team but the best evidence for effectiveness is for the latter. Liaison services can be difficult to set up, requiring agreement from all stakeholders, but once established they can bring improvements in quality as well as cost savings. This chapter explains the case of need for these services, considers different service models, examines service activities and support needs and helps the reader understand how local services can be evaluated.

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