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Clinical Services

Groote Schuur Hospital

Groote Schuur Hospital provides a comprehensive in- and out-patient psychiatry service across several disciplines and levels of care. A brief description of services is given below:

  • Emergency Psychiatry Services

    Ward C23 and Male Short Stay Assessment Service: Ward C22

    C23 provides a specialised service for patients referred who require urgent psychiatric evaluation and management. The in-patient unit can accommodate up to 16 individuals with a range of acute psychiatric disorders in adults and young people 13 and older. The ward is particularly geared to be able to provide longer-term care for certain categories of patient where hospitalisation in a tertiary facility is necessary e.g. complicated neuropsychiatric disorders and medical co-morbidity

    •             We provide a consultation service for patients referred from the Medical Emergency Unit as well as from other units and wards within Groote Schuur Hospital.

    •             We also offer a consultation service for patients referred from Regional hospitals, Community clinics and the network of mental health services as well as general health care practitioners within the drainage area of Groote Schuur Hospital.

    The male short stay assessment unit at C22 provides for the needs of men suffering from acute psychiatric disorders in the Klipfontein area of Cape Town, as well as the GSH surrounds. Many of the individuals suffer from dual diagnosis in the form of psychosis and substance abuse.

  • Consultation Liaison Psychiatry Services

    GSH is a major tertiary and academic hospital, and as such caters for many specialist and sub-specialist services across all medical disciplines, The Liaison service supports the many individuals suffering from psychiatric and psychological co-morbidity.

    The G22 ward has now evolved into a liaison inpatient unit which provides a comprehensive assessment and treatment service, packaged around the needs of individuals with complex medical and psychiatric needs. The environment is strongly multi-disciplinary, with evidence-based psychotherapy a key component. The unit now offers three admission programmes:

    1.     In patient diagnostic assessment for complex patients, of variable duration.

    2.     8 week therapeutic programme comprising individual case management, group therapy, life skills, family therapy and consultations from other medical specialties and allied health professionals.

    3.     12 week eating disorder programme including specialist dietician input and access to the same therapies available in the 8 week programme.

    Inclusion criteria: The unit accepts male and female patients from the ages of 15 years with an Axis I or II diagnosis and an Axis III diagnosis. The unit also focuses on several patient groups: eating disorders, somatoform disorders, women’s mental health (pregnancy and gynaecological conditions), and chronic pain (including patients with analgesic dependence).

    While the unit tries to accommodate as many patients as possible, individuals with active illicit substance abuse; current forensic investigation; and behavioural disturbance are generally not admitted.

    Patients who meet the criteria can be booked for an assessment and tour of the ward which takes place on Wednesday mornings. Referral letters can be faxed to 021 404 6054. Patients will be contacted directly with an assessment date so please include their contact numbers. Urgent referrals can be discussed directly with the head of the unit Dr Jackie Hoare on 021 404 2134.

    • The in-patient liaison referral service sees patients referred from all wards in Groote Schuur Hospital. Referral letters (“pinkies”) are dropped off at ward C23. Most patients will be seen within 24 hours of referral. Patients are initially seen by the liaison registrar and then discussed with a consultant. Consultant ward rounds and bed side teaching take place on Thursday mornings. HIV positive patients are seen by the neuropsychiatry registrar.  Complex Liaison patients can be managed by the consultant or senior registrar in ‘non-psychiatric’ wards by daily review.
    • As part of the in patient liaison service patients referred from Valkenberg Hospital for a medical evaluation and/or admission will now be followed up by the liaison team while at Groote Schuur Hospital. The referring doctor at Valkenberg needs to inform the liaison registrar that the patient is being transferred to GSH. The liaison registrar can be contacted on 021 404 2175. If a referral takes place after hours the on call doctor at Valkenberg can inform the on call doctor at C23. This will then be noted in the liaison communications book and taken over by the liaison registrar the following day. Referral information can be faxed to 021 404 2178.
    • There are several liaison outpatient clinics being run at Groote Schuur Hospital.

    Outpatient clinics







    G22 F/u





    021 4042155

    Eating Disorder



    Dr Charles


    021 4042151




    Dr Charles

    E Benjamin

    021 4042151




    Dr Charles & Prof

    L Frenkel

    021 4044470

    Chronic illness




    A Marais

    021 4042151




    Drs Pieterse & Akhurst

    L Frenkel

    021 4046122

    Gender Identity



    Dr Wilson

    A Marais

    021 4042152

    Transplant Assessment



    Prof Hoare

    A Marais

    021 4042151

    Outreach services are provided in the form of telephonic support to Mowbray Maternity Hospital and St Lukes hospice. Complex patients are reviewed at the referring hospital by Dr Hoare, the appropriate liaison clinic or offered an in patient diagnostic assessment.

  • Neuropsychiatry Services

    The Division of Neuropsychiatry offers a range of in- and out-patient services to individuals with HIV- and general neuropsychiatric disorders. The Division is a sub-specialist service, and as such is involved in the assessment and treatmetn of many complex cases, often referred on from services elsewhere.

    • Our in-patient service offers 5 tertiary in-patient beds at Ward G22. We admit women with HIV-associated neuropsychiatric disorders, older women with neuropsychiatric disorders; and a range of complex conditions including neuro-inflammatory, neoplastic, cerbro-vascualr and epileptic disorders. The Unit has a full multi-disciplinary team, and has excellent working relationshiops with key related fields, including neurology and infectious diseases. Patients are referred from other GSH wards, psychiatric hospitals and out-patient clinics. We are not able to admit patients with life-threatening medical co-morbidity, although we can manage some complex conditions, and we cannot generally manange very behaviourally disturbed individuals. Most of our patients stay 2-6 weeks, before being discharged or referred on to other units. Referrals are discussed with the ward registrar on 021 4045456.
    •  The Division of Neuropsychiatry provides outpatient services for several “clusters” of disorder. The Division takes referrals from:
    1. GSH services, GSH district catchment (patients seen in local CHCs), and the GSH tertiary hospital (patients seen at district/secondary hospitals in metro west). We generally do not take directly from primary level. We provide mainly an assessment and refer down service.
    2. Patients <18 should be referred to Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
    3. Those needing psychometric testing should be referred to the Neuropsychology service (021-4042151).

    Neuropsychiatry clinic services

    OPD Clinic

    HIV Neuro- Psychiatry

    General Neuro- Psychiatry

    Old Age

    Memory Clinic


    Prof Joska

    Dr Lewis

    Prof Joska

    Prof Joska/Combrink










    Referral criteria

    HIV infected 
    individuals with complex neuro-
    psychiatric disorders

    neuro-psychiatric disorders other
    than HIV

    >59 y.o.

    disorders that cannot
    be managed/
    assessed at 
    CHC or
    district level

    Patients with primary memory or neuro- cognitive disorders

    Usually >59 but may
    be younger if primary neuro-degenerative condition suspected

    Those with established aetiology e.g. TBI and secondary dementia 
    are generally not seen
    at memory clinic


    021 4042152

    021 404 2176

    021 4042152

    021 404 2151


  • Addiction Services

    •  Addictions is a growing area in psychiatry and mental health at GSH. The addictions service supports individuals admitted to GSH in the psychiatry and other medical/surgical wards. Patients with substance use disorders related to opiate addiction, methamphetamine and other substances are seen. A number of out-patient services are also available.
    • The addictions clinic runs on a Thursday morning, and includes an opioid substitution clinic. Psychiatrists include: Drs Dannatt and Karjiker. Appointments can be made at 021 404 2151. The aim of this clinic is to assist with the assessment, management and providing advice on complicated addictions cases as well as those with other co-morbid psychiatric disorders (dual diagnosis). It is expected that these patients have been initially assessed and some appropriate interventions have been provided prior to any decision to refer. We do not do acute detoxes in this unit and patients needing this service should continue to be managed in the primary care setting or district/regional hospitals. Where possible we do refer back to primary referral agencies or to addiction agencies in the community.
    • Criteria for referral: Patients must live within Metro West; not currently hospitalised; adults between 18 to 65 years; and have an addiction disorder (alcohol or illicit substance dependence, over the counter dependence, gambling addiction, overeating) that has been partially or non-responsive to primary care treatment or because of co-morbidities is not manageable in the primary care or regional hospital setting.
  • Ambulatory Psychiatry/ Out-patient services

    •  In addition to the OPD services listed under the sub-specialist areas above, the GSH OPD supports the GSH district and hospital at secondary level. We receive many referrals from other medical services within GSH, often for more routine associated psychiatric disorders, such as depression and anxiety.
    • General specialist psychiatry clinics are led by the head of OPD- Dr Ian Lewis- and supported by sessional specialists and medical officers.
    • We also offer a comprehensive psychology OPD service, led by Ms Nuruneesa Lalkhen. Referrals to this service typically come from neurology, genetics, womens health and the psychiatric service. Groups for anxiety management, depression and post-head injury are also offered.