Radical improvements are needed in the mental health services
available to patients in the accident and emergency departments of
general hospitals, the Royal College of Psychiatrists has
The new requirement that, by December 2004, 90 per cent of patients
must be discharged from A&E departments within four hours of
arrival poses particular problems for psychiatric services, a
report from the college says.
A consultant psychiatrist should be named as the senior member of
staff in the local mental health services responsible for liaison
with the A&E department, it recommends.
A&E training should also include recognition of common mental
health problems, and departments should offer appropriate
facilities for patients with mental health needs.
– Go to www.rcpsych.ac.uk