Covid 19 referral Information

Covid 19 Referral Guidance to Complex Care and Dementia Psychiatric Liaison Service

These guidelines apply to ALL acute and community hospitals throughout Cornwall.

The Team

We are a nationally recognised Psychiatric Liaison Accreditation Network (PLAN) accredited service.  The team is based at Royal Cornwall Hospital (RCHT), Treliske.  The service is managed by the Complex Care and Dementia Liaison Service Clinical Lead.  The team will provide a service to all hospital sites Monday to Friday 09:00-17:00hrs excluding bank holidays during the escalation of Covid 19.The multi-disciplinary team comprises Registered Mental Health Nurses (RMNs), Consultant Psychiatrist, Core trainee in Psychiatry and team administration.

What we do

The Liaison Service is an essential component of the Complex Care and Dementia Service line.  We meet patients with many different mental health problems, such as:

  • Being worried about memory
  • Patients living with dementia with complex needs
  • Patients experiencing delirium with complex needs and behaviours
  • Problems with worry, stress or depression
  • Medically unexplained physical health problems
  • Psychosis

The Liaison Service provides comprehensive both telephone triage, advice and support as well as,  face to face mental health assessment of the patient and management advice to the referring team.  We communicate effectively with all those involved in the persons’ care including family members where appropriate to ensure our advice is based upon all relevant information available regarding the patient’s presentation and background history.  This is with a view to:

  • Provide advice and guidance on mental health nursing and care.
  • Provide advice and guidance on treatment options including appropriate use of psychotropic medication, taking into account local policy and only with the support of the Doctors in the multi-disciplinary team.
  • Ensuring that a patient’s mental health issues do not unnecessarily contribute to prolonged hospital admissions.
  • Improving detection and treatment of pain and other physical factors that may contribute to confusion and Behavioural and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia (BPSDs).
  • Offering advice and support to Carers.
  • Contributing to prompt and effective discharge planning for patients with mental health needs in liaison with the Onward Care Team.
  • Legal and National frameworks (Mental Health Act, Mental Capacity Act, including best interests consideration, Deprivation of Liberty safeguards and processes around safeguarding of vulnerable adults).

In providing ongoing assessment and treatment whilst the patient remains in the hospital, we work collaboratively with health care professionals in the general hospital setting to meet the needs of the patient and promote patient centred care.  During this time, the hospital wards clinicians have overall responsibility for the patients’ care until discharge.

The team also support complex discharge planning and where appropriate arrange community follow up.  After discharge the patients GP (and other relevant agencies) will be notified by way of an assessment letter to ensure continuity of care.

CC&D Psychiatric Liaison Service or the medical team can signpost the patient into other appropriate services.

Who we see

  • Patients who are confused due to suspected or known dementia, of any age.
  • Patients with functional mental illness who are 75 years or over.

Who we do not see

  • Patients who are already on the caseload of the Adult Integrated Community Mental Health Team (ICMHT) should be referred to the Adult Psychiatric Liaison Service. 
  • Patients presenting with deliberate self-harm (these patients should be referred for initial assessment and risk by the Adult Psychiatric Liaison service for RCHT patients and CMHT’s with other hospital settings).
  • Patients who are dependent on alcohol or other substances (these patients should be referred for assessment by the specialist Alcohol Liaison team within RCHT).
  • Patients requiring ongoing psychological therapies/interventions.

Referral to the service

We accept referrals from professionals in health and social care.

Referrals to the service can must be completed via Maxims (internal hospital referral system) selecting “Psychiatric Liaison Service” – Complex Care and Dementia.  This is the preferred route.

If refers do not have access to Maxims referrals should be made using the team referral form.  This should be sent to the team’s generic email address – cft.ccdliaison@nhs.net.

We aim to make contact with all referrers to the service for an initial telephone triage  by the end of the following working day.  However we will endeavour to respond to more urgent referrals in particular from the Emergency Department (ED) on the same working day where at all possible.  Urgent enquires can be made via telephone – 01872 252930.

Primary Care Practitioners Contact Information

To contact a Primary Care Dementia Practitioner please ask your GP.

Primary Care Practitioners

Primary Care Dementia Practitioners (PCDPs) work across most of Cornwall. The main purpose of their role is to support people who have dementia and their families.

Primary Care Practitioners (PCDPs) work very closely with GPs to assess people’s needs and those of their carer – making referrals to other services as needed.
PCDPs will remain in touch with the person and their family from initial diagnosis until the person passes away.

PCDPs come from a range of background and each is an expert in dementia care. With their specialist knowledge they can quickly problem solve and put solutions in place for people thereby avoiding crisis’s, preventing admissions to care homes or a hospital. No-one is discharged from the PCDP case load – their support continues throughout the person’s journey.

The PCDPs also have a role to play in raising awareness of dementia in the community – which can been seen in more detail in the above film. One of the practitioners has been working with students from Penair School to create life story books.

Primary Care Practitioners Survey

The Primary Care Dementia Practitioner Service is brand new and we would really appreciate your time in providing us feedback. This is to ensure that the service we are delivering is a quality service and if improvements can be made we are able to implement them.

Take the survey