We must integrate services for people with mental health issues
It is clear from the National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death (NCEPOD) report published last month that hospitals are failing to integrate physical and mental healthcare. As a result, patients with mental health issues are receiving poor care and nurses are too often failing to refer such patients to the appropriate specialist support. Most emergency nurses will have witnessed patients who are in distress or afraid, often as a result of depression or schizophrenia. For such people, it is important that the arrival of liaison psychiatry teams is timely. ‘We need mental health professionals to review the role of liaison psychiatry teams’ In the emergency departments NCEPOD studied, there was evidence that patients’ mental health conditions had not been recorded systematically at triage or at senior review. Practice in this area must improve.