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West Suffolk team awarded Psychiatric Liaison Accreditation Network accreditation

A specialist team who ensure people who are admitted to hospital for physical treatment - often via A&E - also receive the right care to safeguard their mental health has been awarded a prized national accreditation.

Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust’s (NSFT) West Suffolk Psychiatric Liaison Team has been awarded the Psychiatric Liaison Accreditation Network (PLAN) accreditation by the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

The accreditation is in recognition of the safe, high quality services it provides and it comes just two years after the Psychiatric Liaison Team was launched.

Made up of 12 clinical staff and admin support, the team assess and risk manage patients with a potential mental health need who are also receiving treatment for a physical issue at West Suffolk Hospital. They take referrals from both the emergency department and the inpatient wards and, where appropriate, will also provide onward referrals to other mental health services.

To achieve the accreditation, they submitted a wide range of written evidence documenting the patient pathways which are in place to make sure service users receive the right care to meet their needs. The way the team deals with patients in crisis as well as signposting and onward referrals was also documented.

Independent assessors then spent a day at the hospital to see the work carried out by the team first hand, and also interviewed staff, service users, family carers and staff from across West Suffolk Hospital.

Neil Brandon, Clinical Team Leader, said: “We are delighted that we have been awarded this highly valued accreditation just two years after the service launched. It is a testament to the dedication of our team and the strong working relationship we have with colleagues at West Suffolk Hospital and comes following a lot of hard work.

“The accreditation shows that our patients are receiving safe, high quality and responsive services, as well as the appropriate onward referral to meet their needs. It also underlines our staff’s commitment to continually improving the care we provide.

“Achieving the accreditation will open up new opportunities for the service, such as the chance to share good practice with a network of peers, and also assures our commissioners and stakeholders about the quality of service we provide.

“We will continue to look for ways to further improve the service we provide after receiving this accreditation for the benefit of our patients and their carers.”

The accreditation lasts for three years.