Improving access to liaison psychiatry services

Liaison Psychiatry Services - GuidanceThe Mental Health Network (SCN, South West) has commissioned the production of service specifications for liaison psychiatry services. This project is to be delivered by Devon Partnership NHS Trust research and development directorate by September 2013.

The project has been initiated in response to parallel and converging work streams with the shared aim of improving access to mental health liaison services, including a brief Review of Mental Health Liaison Services in the South West, June 2013. SCN SW Liaison Report, June 2013

Development of the service specifications includes:

  • desktop research and evidence synthesis.
  • engagement with national work streams,
  • consultation with key stakeholder groups, including people with lived experience, Clinical Commissioning Groups and commissioning support managers, clinicians and practitioners,
  • peer review of the commissioning specification
  • validation of the product via the Project Advisory Board.

Project process

The project is made up of four parallel work-streams.

  1. Convening 3 expert group meetings/feedback opportunities (3 per each expert group)
  2. Literature synthesis and process for further searching
  3. Connecting with other work streams
  4. Writing the template for the output document.

1. Expert group meetings

A message management process will be used, where we move quickly to test language and understanding of liaison psychiatry and its models of care with lay, commissioner and professional groups.

A nominal group approach will be used with three groups of experts: lay people, commissioners and professionals. The nominal group approach is a group problem solving process involving problem identification, solution generation, and decision-making.

Each group will be conferred with on three occasions. The first meeting usually finds an extensive and ideal range of messages, which can then be tested for veracity against the literature and represented to a second meeting.

By running this with three different expert audiences we will find three sets of messages.  A third consensus meeting is therefore ideal where all three sets of messages are tested for congruence.

This approach will be subject to pragmatic limitations, primarily within the scope of the project and the available time. this means three face to face meetings might not be possible, but will be replaced by web based consultations, 1:1 meetings and telephone calls.

2.  Literature synthesis

Literature and narrative emerging from these sessions will be reviewed against the literature to check that statement are defensible within the evidence base.  Literature will also be collected and synthesized in parallel to the group process.

3.  Connecting with other work streams

Connections will be made between this work and that of the Centre for Mental Health, Royal College of Psychiatrists, Liaison Faculty, Joint Commissioning Panel of the Royal Colleges of General Practice and Psychiatry, DH Project Review Group, Liaison Psychiatry PBR project and local commissioning.

4.  Output document template

The template for the output document will be sketched as a framework to be tested with the groups, and in which messages can be placed and developed as the process takes place.

Project output

We have produced a suite of four related documents, each with increasing levels of detail:

Project Responsibilities

  • Project outcome document, lead author – Dr Sarah Robens
  • Literature synthesis – Dr Sarah Robens
  • Liaison psychiatry conversation lead – Dr Peter Aitken
  • Commissioner conversation lead – Ralph Hayward and Maureen Casey
  • Lay conversations lead – Dr Sarah Robens, Tobit Emmens
  • Connecting work streams lead – Dr. Peter Aitken
  • Project management – Sarah Robens, Tobit Emmens
  • Project facilitation and admin – Tobit Emmens
  • Project direction – Dr Peter Aitken
  • Project sponsor – Dr Adrian James, SCN South West
  • Project commissioner – Kate Schneider, SCN South West

2 thoughts on “Improving access to liaison psychiatry services

  1. Peter Aitken

    please can this be retitled Liaison Psychiatry Services rather than Mental Health Liaison Services in the interests of consistency, what these services are actually called, and to help searches

    1. Rowan Purdy

      Hi Peter,

      No problem whatsoever. I have changed the project page title using Liaison Psychiatry Services rather than Mental Health Liaison Services. I will be updating the project page over the weekend providing prominent links to the forthcoming guidance documents.

      I have also changed the category which is applied to all materials to do with the Liaison Psychiatry Services

      Hope this helps 😉


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