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Liaison Psychiatry


History of the Division
The division has grown at Groote Schuur Hospital (GSH) since 2008 as a response to the needs of persons living with medical conditions and mental illness. In response to the increased awareness at GSH, and the growing recognition of the burden of mental disorders in patients with chronic medical conditions with depressive, anxiety, substance abuse and neurocognitive disorders, we have expanded the Liaison service to develop a program of clinical service, teaching and research relevant to the field of Liaison Psychiatry and mental health. This division is based at GSH, where the Liaison team assesses and manages patients with psychiatric and physical comorbidity and complicated functional somatic symptoms. The service has been revolutionized by the development of special outpatient liaison psychiatry services located within the general hospital. The service is multi-disciplinary and located alongside the medical departments to which patients are referred originally. The outpatient clinics have integrated mental health services with the mainstream of medical care. The adolescent psychiatry clinic, the combined psychiatry oncology clinic, the chronic pain clinic, the general liaison psychiatry follow up clinic, women’s mental health service and the eating disorders clinic, are all new services which have improved the delivery of holistic care to these patent populations. Ward G22 has been restructured to manage complex patients with medical and co-morbid psychiatric conditions. The innovative service that we now provide has been recognized at the GSH Annual Performance Plan by the Departments of Oncology, Pediatrics and Obstetrics & Gynaecology.
We have secured funding from external agencies including MRC, the NRF and the NIMH. Our teaching and research program has led to several large grant awards, and several smaller projects. In the area of adolescent neuroAIDS our division has made a significant contribution to understanding the impact of HIV on adolescents mental health and behavior, with growing international recognition. 
 
Base
The Division of Liaison Psychiatry is based at Groote Schuur 
Hospital, Observatory. Our staff is housed in the wider 
Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health, at J-block, Groote Schuur Hospital. Our outpatient and inpatient service is located alongside the medical departments to which patients are referred originally.
Our services span 10 tertiary in-patient beds at Ward G22, and a busy liaison service at Groote Schuur Hospital, and several outpatient clinics. The outpatient clinics have integrated mental health services with the mainstream of medical care.  The adolescent psychiatry clinic, the combined psychiatry oncology clinic, the chronic pain clinic, the general liaison psychiatry follow up clinic, women’s mental health service and the eating disorders clinics are located within the general hospital.

Clinical Services