[A version of this item appears in: Dementia: the Latest Evidence Newsletter (RWHT), Volume 2 Issue 1, August 2011].
This document explains the evidence used to identify eligible patients for mental health liaison services in general hospitals and community hospitals. It also covers the evidence used to design mental health liaison services and their core components. The information provided by this document is for the use of commissioners when constructing a business case. The contents of this report comprise sections on:
- Purpose of the document.
- Mental health needs, including dementia, represent a large and growing demand on hospital resources.
- Meeting the needs of older people with mental health conditions in general hospital remains a challenge.
- A mental health liaison service can help both to improve outcomes and ensure that hospital resources are used efficiently.
- Why assessment and diagnosis are important.
- Why support and advice on management is important.
- Why contributing to staff training and organisational development is important.
- What evidence has been used to inform service design?
The NICE dementia guideline recommends that each acute trust should have a mental health liaison service to assist with the assessment, diagnosis and management of patients with dementia. This guideline says such services could assist in helping to train hospital staff in the provision of good dementia care. The role of the mental health liaison service is to:
- Provide support and advice for the diagnosis of dementia and other mental health conditions.
- Provide support and advice for the management and care planning on behalf of people with confirmed or suspected mental health problems such as dementia. This support could include discharge planning.
- Contribute to mental health education and training for hospital staff; to good governance and audit arrangements to promote good dementia care; and to the development of policies and procedures for high-quality mental health care.
Strategic Commissioning Development Unit (2011). Case for change – mental health liaison service for dementia care in hospitals: Evidence. Leeds, Department of Health & Strategic Commissioning Development Unit (SCDU), July 21st 2011. (A component of the Dementia Commissioning Pack, Dementia Gateway Reference 16035).