Dear North East London NHS Foundation Trust,

We are a group of clinicians & researchers carrying out a national evaluation of liaison psychiatry service provision in NHS hospitals across England. As part of this project, we are submitting FOI requests to all NHS Mental Health Trusts to ask about local policy and practice. We kindly request the following information as per the FOI Act 2000.

Our enquiries relate to the provision of liaison psychiatry services in adult general hospitals, including patients in inpatient wards or A&E departments. This research is conducted as part of an Academic Foundation Programme research post. No specific grant was awarded for this project. All findings will be de-identified from Hospitals or Trusts before publication.

1. At which general hospital(s) does your Trust provide liaison psychiatry services?

For each of the above hospitals, please answer the questions below:

2. Is there a written policy about prioritising patients who have been referred to liaison psychiatry, or determining which referrals to accept? (If No, please move to Question 6).

3. If so, is this policy made available to all (psychiatry and non-psychiatry) clinicians working within the general hospital? If so, please specify where (e.g. Trust intranet)?

4. Please attach the policy document if possible. We aim to extract only certain information from the policy document, so if the complete policy document cannot be sent, please send the following information:

a. Details on which locations this policy covers and which patients (i.e. inpatient ward/A&E/referrals) the policy covers.

b. Details on any guidelines to prioritise or determine which referrals to accept. Specifically:
i. Patients should be medically fit for discharge prior to review
ii. Patients should be medically fit for assessment prior to review
iii. No restriction applied; all patients are reviewed
iv. Any other methods used to prioritise patient referrals (please specify)

c. Whether the policy states which professional group (e.g. psychiatrist, psychologist, nurse) should review the referral and/or assess the patient? If so, please specify.

d. When was the policy last reviewed or updated?

5. When (if at all) was local practice last audited against this policy and what were the findings?

6. At your Trust, how do doctors refer patients to liaison psychiatry for review (e.g. by telephone, by electronic referral system, by email, by fax)?

Many thanks for your time. Please do not hesitate to get in touch by email if you have any questions or clarifications. We look forward to your reply.

Yours faithfully,

Dr George Gillett, 
Academic Foundation Programme Doctor
Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford 

Dr William Lee, 
Honorary Clinical Senior Lecturer, University of Exeter Medical School.
Consultant Liaison Psychiatrist, Devon Partnership NHS Trust.

Information Governance, North East London NHS Foundation Trust

Dear George

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request and apologies for the delay in responding. Please find below our response:

1. At which general hospital(s) does your Trust provide liaison psychiatry services?

Whipps Cross Hospital Walthamstow

For each of the above hospitals, please answer the questions below:

2. Is there a written policy about prioritising patients who have been referred to liaison psychiatry, or determining which referrals to accept? (If No, please move to Question 6).

Yes

3. If so, is this policy made available to all (psychiatry and non-psychiatry) clinicians working within the general hospital? If so, please specify where (e.g. Trust intranet)?

Yes

4. Please attach the policy document if possible. We aim to extract only certain information from the policy document, so if the complete policy document cannot be sent, please send the following information:

a. Details on which locations this policy covers and which patients (i.e. inpatient ward/A&E/referrals) the policy covers.
Inpatients and A&E

b. Details on any guidelines to prioritise or determine which referrals to accept. Specifically:
i. Patients should be medically fit for discharge prior to review
No
ii. Patients should be medically fit for assessment prior to review
No
iii. No restriction applied; all patients are reviewed
Yes
iv. Any other methods used to prioritise patient referrals (please specify)
Non specifically

b. Whether the policy states which professional group (e.g. psychiatrist, psychologist, nurse) should review the referral and/or assess the patient? If so, please specify.
No but referral usually triaged by nursing staff

c. When was the policy last reviewed or updated?
January 2020

4. When (if at all) was local practice last audited against this policy and what were the findings?
No but regular monitoring of performance via internal and contractual routes

5. At your Trust, how do doctors refer patients to liaison psychiatry for review (e.g. by telephone, by electronic referral system, by email, by fax)?
Bleep or call to the team (email or fax referrals are discouraged)

Queens Hospital Romford and King Georges Hospital Ilford

2 Is there a written policy about prioritising patients who have been referred to liaison psychiatry, or determining which referrals to accept? (If No, please move to Question 6).
No in Draft awaiting approval

3. If so, is this policy made available to all (psychiatry and non-psychiatry) clinicians working within the general hospital? If so, please specify where (e.g. Trust intranet)? No as still in draft awaiting approval

4. Please attach the policy document if possible. We aim to extract only certain information from the policy document, so if the complete policy document cannot be sent, please send the following information:

a. Details on which locations this policy covers and which patients (i.e. inpatient ward/A&E/referrals) the policy covers.
Inpatients and A&E

b. Details on any guidelines to prioritise or determine which referrals to accept. Specifically:
i. Patients should be medically fit for discharge prior to review
No
ii. Patients should be medically fit for assessment prior to review
No
iii. No restriction applied; all patients are reviewed
Yes
iv. Any other methods used to prioritise patient referrals (please specify)
Non specifically

b. Whether the policy states which professional group (e.g. psychiatrist, psychologist, nurse) should review the referral and/or assess the patient? If so, please specify.
No but referral usually triaged by nursing staff

c. When was the policy last reviewed or updated?
Draft dated January 2020

6. When (if at all) was local practice last audited against this policy and what were the findings?
No but regular monitoring of performance via internal and contractual routes

7. At your Trust, how do doctors refer patients to liaison psychiatry for review (e.g. by telephone, by electronic referral system, by email, by fax)?
Bleep or call to the team (email or fax referrals are discouraged)

Kind regards

Information Governance Team

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Dear Information Governance,

Many thanks, are you able to provide a copy of the policy for Whipps Cross?

Yours sincerely,

George Gillett