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There are no national standards to evaluate the quality of delivery of in-patient liaison psychiatry services in general hospitals in the UK. In order to benchmark our service against best international practice, we adapted quality indicators from two peer-reviewed studies from Australia and Switzerland and monitored our performance standards over a period of 6 months.
There were 145 patients assessed over the study period. We set a priori target of 90% achievement on indicators in the areas of timeliness of response to all referrals, timeliness of response to referrals following self-harm and quality of supervision of junior medical staff attaining 93.8, 87.5 and 89.6% respectively.
We demonstrated that we provided a reasonably responsive consultation–liaison service with high levels of supervision of junior staff. National bodies should develop benchmarks in this area so that services can demonstrate the quality of their service and learn from others' good practice.
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