Economic Evaluation of a Liaison Psychiatry Service

[A version of this item appears in: Dementia: the Latest Evidence Newsletter (RWHT), Volume 2 Issue 5, December 2011].


This report offers an independent economic evaluation of the Rapid Assessment Interface and Discharge (RAID) psychiatric liaison service operating at the City Hospital, Birmingham. It examines the costs and benefits of the Birmingham City Hospital’s RAID service and comes to positive conclusions.

The RAID service aims to meet the mental health needs of all adult patients in the hospital, including people with mental health difficulties commonly associated with old age, including dementia. The six most common reasons for referral to RAID are (a) deliberate self-harm 27.6%; (b) depression 16.2%; (c) cognitive impairment, confusion and dementia 13.6%; (d) alcohol misuse 12.5%; (e) suicidal thoughts 10.1%; and (f) psychosis 8.4%.

The RAID service offers comprehensive round-the-clock mental health support to adult patients in the hospital. RAID is estimated to have cut the costs of bed use in the hospital by some £3.5 million per year. The authors show that an effective liaison psychiatry service can bring about a range of positive outcomes (including cost savings). The financial savings which RAID generates within the hospital outweigh the costs of running the service.

The report has been produced by the Centre for Mental Health and the NHS Confederation’s Mental Health Network. It was funded by the Strategic Health Authority Mental Health Leads.

Interesting Background Information

Elderly people in general hospitals typically have high rates of co-morbidity, and they occupy about two-thirds of all occupied beds. Up to 60% of elderly patients have – or will develop – mental disorders during their admission, such as dementia, depression and delirium. A 2007 survey carried out in Lincolnshire by the National Audit Office indicated that dementia patients are prone to experience delays in discharge; more than two-thirds of elderly dementia patients being assessed as no longer needing to be in hospital. Savings from quicker discharge were estimated to be £6.5 million in the local area, which equates to £300 million or more for the whole of England (according to the National Audit Office, 2007).

Full Text Link (a)


Parsonage, M. and Fossey, M. (2011). Economic evaluation of a liaison psychiatry service. London: Centre for Mental Health, November 2011.

Full Text Link (b)


National Audit Office (2007). Improving services and support for people with dementia. London: National Audit Office / The Stationery Office, 2007. (Click here to read just the executive summary of the 2007 NAO report).

About Dementia and Elderly Care News

Dementia and Elderly Care News. Wolverhampton Medical Institute: WMI. (jh)
This entry was posted in Acute Hospitals, Community Care, Delirium, For Social Workers (mostly), Local Interest, Mental Health Network (NHS Confederation), National, National Audit Office, NHS, Quick Insights, UK, Universal Interest and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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