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24-hour Mental Health Liaison service opens in York Hospital’s Emergency Department

NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), in partnership with Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LYPFT) and York Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (YTHFT), is funding a vital service for patients with mental health problems across the Vale of York.

A new 24-hour Mental Health Liaison service, which will significantly improve the care being delivered to people who have mental health problems, has opened in York Hospital’s Emergency Department.

Dr Louise Barker, the CCG’s lead for mental health, said: “The service supports NHS Vale of York CCG’s vision for modern, responsive services, a commitment made by the CCG in its five year strategic plan for healthcare in the Vale of York.

“The service will ensure that people with mental health conditions are managed by people with the appropriate skills and in the best environment.”

Health professionals, including Mental Health Nurses, a Senior Clinical Lead and a Consultant Psychiatrist are accessible for mental health related referrals and to provide medical support and advice to staff at York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (YTHFT).

This new development will provide a dedicated mental health service to the hospital’s emergency department 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for patients aged 18 and over.

Jill Copeland, Chief Operating Officer at Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, who will operate the Liaison service, said: “The introduction of a 24-hour Mental Health Liaison service at York Hospital’s Emergency Department is another big step forward in developing appropriate mental health services for people in the Vale of York area. This service will make a big difference to the quality of care for people with mental health problems in the emergency department.  We are grateful to the partnership for jointly funding this service this year. ”

Dr Alastair Turnbull, Medical Director at York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This is extremely good news and begins to address the needs of some of our most vulnerable patients. For a long time there has been a need for greater support for patients with mental health disorders who attend the emergency department and elsewhere in the hospital. This is a really positive first step and we now look to work with partners to develop a comprehensive liaison service.”

A Liaison Service has been available at York Hospital’s Emergency Department since October, working from 8am until midnight, and has been expanded to provide the 24-hour service.

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