This article presents a 12-month case series to determine the fraction of ward referrals of adults of working age who needed a liaison psychiatrist in a busy tertiary referral teaching hospital.
The service received 344 referrals resulting in 1259 face-to-face contacts. Depression accounted for the most face-to-face contacts. We deemed the involvement of a liaison psychiatrist necessary in 241 (70.1%) referrals, with medication management as the most common reason.
A substantial amount of liaison ward work involves the treatment and management of severe and complex mental health problems. Our analysis suggests that in the majority of cases the input of a liaison psychiatrist is required.
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