National accreditation given to nurses at East Anglian psychiatry service

Nurses and other staff at a service supporting patients experiencing mental health difficulties have achieved national accreditation for the quality of care they provide.

The mental health liaison team, provided jointly by Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH), has been accredited by the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

“This is a wonderful achievement for the team”

Liam Ashby

It has been awarded accreditation for its commitment to meeting core standards for liaison psychiatry services, set out by the college’s Psychiatric Liaison Accreditation Network (PLAN).

The team, which is based at QEH, is available 24/7 and provides clinical mental health assessments, advice and brief interventions to the emergency department, inpatient areas and outpatient clinics.

It is part of the wider liaison service run by The Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn NHS Foundation Trust, including Change, Grow, Live (substance misuse) and Learning Difficulties.

Meanwhile, NSFT works as the specialist provider of mental health services in West Norfolk. It serves a population of just over 1.6 million people and employs more than 5,000 staff.

The mental health liaison team had to go through a rigorous accreditation process which included a comprehensive peer-review, noted the trusts in a statement.

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Team members also had to gather evidence that looked at all aspects of the service, from service provision and structure to staff training and support for families and carers.

The PLAN assessors were particularly impressed with the way in which the team engaged individuals and their family and carers in each step of the process.

They said: “Patient and carer feedback was very encouraging and highlighted many areas that staff excel at within the service, such as treating all with compassion, dignity and respect and providing information throughout each part of the referral.”

They added: “It is clear there is a fantastic amount of skill within the team across a range of specialisms such as occupational therapy, working with pain management, and delivering brief psychological interventions.”

PLAN was established in 2009 to support the quality improvement of psychiatric liaison teams in the UK and Ireland.

Its accreditation committee is made up of mental health professionals, including mental health nurses, psychiatrists and consultants, as well as service user representatives.

Stephen Monsey-Cribb, clinical team manager at NSFT, said: “This accreditation is important as it recognises the exceptional quality of care provided to our service users.

“I’m particularly proud that the assessors acknowledged the fantastic level of skill in the team, which enable them to work so well to support service users needs with compassion, dignity and respect.”

Liam Ashby, lead nurse for mental health at the QEH, said: “This is a wonderful achievement for the team and really demonstrates the high standard of care we deliver for our patients.”

Liam Ashby and Stephen Monsey-CriMental Health Liaison team.

Liam Ashby and Stephen Monsey-Cribb (centre) with colleagues from the mental health liaison team

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