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Specialist Paediatric Mental Health Liaison nurse

Assessment and support for children who attend the Royal Surrey hospital with mental health difficulties in crisis. Liaison with outside services to provide on-going care for these children in the community.

What did we need?

Children and Young People (CYP) with mental health and Learning Disability (LD) behavioural issues, including those linked to learning disabilities, are presenting in greater numbers at local Emergency Departments and also being admitted to Paediatric Wards.  This is causing significant difficulties with the lack of expertise and knowledge within the Acute hospitals on how best to support these children and young people, often resulting in increased anxiety being experienced by the children and young people and their families and longer lengths of stay being needed. The service is not a substitute for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) community services and only see’s young people presenting in crisis who are a danger to themselves or others due to an on-going psychiatric difficulty.

What does the Paediatric Mental Health Liaison nurse do?

  • Supports staff to understand and manage Paediatric inpatients with mental health.
  • Provides specialist support and assessment to Paediatric patients who have attended with mental health difficulties in crisis, in both A&E and on the Wards.
  • Improves the management of care for children and young people admitted to inpatient wards. On Hascombe ward children are being seen first thing in the morning and discharged to appropriate CAMHS community services. The Paediatric Mental Health Liaison nurse pathway has created a smooth transition for these young people and their families, making sure they get the appropriate follow up in the community after discharge.
  • Ensures safe discharge for every child or young person presenting with a mental health concern. The relationship between the CAMHS Liaison nurse and the community South West crisis team is one of the best in the county. We work incredibly closely with them and so the discharge is as seamless as possible. This means their package of care is implemented within the community from the point of discharge from the Acute hospital.
  • Improves training and support for acute unit staff working with children and young people with Mental Health (MH) and Learning Disability (LD) needs.

The service is not a substitute for CAMHS community services and see’s young people presenting in crisis who are a danger to themselves or others due to an on-going psychiatric difficulty.

Royal Surrey Charity