Evaluation of new investment in liaison services
In 2014, Bristol Clinical Commissioning Group commissioned University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust to extend the operating hours of its liaison psychiatry service (LPS) from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, up to seven days a week, from 8am to 10pm. This required an additional investment of approximately £250,000 per year.
The aim of the extended service was to increase the number of patients receiving a NICE-recommended psychosocial assessment when attending the emergency department after self-harming. Only 58 per cent were assessed in 2014. It also aimed to reduce hospital admissions to await an assessment: 65 per cent were admitted in 2014.
This study focuses on approaches to assessing the cost consequences of the investment in the psychiatric liaison service. We are focussing on self-harm patients because these are the group of psychiatric patients most likely to be admitted to a hospital bed. The LPS extension is likely to also affect service delivery for other patients they see.
The study aims to compare the short-term costs of extending the psychiatric liaison service at the Bristol Royal Infirmary for self-harm patients, in a before and after study. We will use data that’s already being collected about acute self-harm episodes. The evaluation will also outline options for more in-depth analyses that would extend the analysis beyond routinely collected self-harm data.
The results will enable commissioners to explore whether the extra investment increased assessment and provision rates, and reduced hospital admissions for self-harm in the short-term after a self-harm episode.