Consultation Liaison Psychiatry Services (CLPS) Academic Clinical Unit (ACU) are specialised mental health teams that provide comprehensive mental health specialist assessments, feedback and brief interventions to adult inpatients of general hospitals. The CLPS team assists the medical treating staff by providing diagnostic, management and referral advice for their patients who are suffering from a mental health illness or disorder or psychological distress.
Accessing our service
The entry process to the CLPS ACU is accessible to the individual, meets the needs of its community and facilitates timeliness of entry and ongoing assessment for patients under general hospital. Any patient admitted to a medical or surgical ward of the Metro South Hospital and Health Service can be referred to the CLPS ACU.
Referral can be made by a medical staff member from the treating medical team. The referral is made in conjunction with the patient, family and the responsible treating physician.
Referral is for assessment of significant mental health problems, particularly where there is:
- high risk of harm to self or others
- potential acute mental illness (e.g. psychosis, severe depression/anxiety)
- serious mental health problems that arise from, complicate, or cause physical illness and its treatment (e.g. eating disorders, suicidally, psychosomatic problems, severe trauma).
Services we provide
The Consultation Liaison Psychiatry Services ACU provides the following functions across Metro South Addiction and Mental Health Services:
- psychiatric consultation to the patients and their families referred by the medical, surgical and obstetric services in a general hospital setting
- advice to treating medical, surgical and obstetric services regarding the best management of their patient’s mental health whilst in the hospital setting
- advice to patients and their families regarding their mental health diagnosis and appropriate referral pathways to assist ongoing treatment and management
- diagnostic clarification of patients presenting to medical, surgical and obstetric services with physical signs and symptoms that could indicate a psychiatric disorder
- provision of brief mental health interventions to the patients of the medical, surgical and obstetric services
- ongoing mental health literacy training to staff of the medical, surgical and obstetric services.
Interventions for the treatment of mental health presentations in general hospital patients fall into five main categories:
- advice to the medical team and patient on psychotropic medication prescribing in the medically unwell patient
- brief focused cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for anxiety and depression to improve their physical health and functioning
- motivational interviewing for behaviour change
- psychoeducation around mental health disorders and their treatment
- early identification of the correct pathway for ongoing mental health interventions.