The County Durham and Darlington mental health liaison service is based at:

  • Rowan Building
    East Wing
    Darlington Memorial Hospital
    Hollyhurst Road
    Darlington, DL3 6HX
    Tel number: Darlington 01325 743308
  • Lanchester Road Hospital
    Lanchester Road
    Durham, DH1 5RD
    Tel number: Durham - 0191 3333550

About the service

The service responds to and provides a comprehensive psychosocial assessment of people (aged 16 years and over) who come to or are admitted into non mental health hospitals across the County Durham and Darlington area.  This includes accident and emergency departments, wards and departments and community hospitals. 

Working with clinical ward staff, the patient and their carers, the service supports assessment and diagnosis, and develops care plans for the treatment and interventions needed to manage the patient's psychiatric needs.

The service currently supports staff in acute hospitals by helping them to build on and increase their skills and competencies in the early detection of mental health problems and the management of people with mental health needs.

The acute liaison teams also provide a link to the community and inpatient mental health services enabling a seamless service to be provided, including the arrangements for after care, where this is required.

The teams deliver the following:

  • Support to acute and community hospital staff to help them identify potential mental health issues and to manage them appropriately by developing their knowledge and skills in mental health.
  • Assessments and interventions that:
    - reduce the length of stay and improve discharge decision making for patients with mental health issues
    - divert people from admissions, including those attending accident and emergency (A&E) with mental health and substance misuse problems.
  • Interventions and support to increase the number of people discharged to their own home (or to the care home they were admitted from) and actively help to do this.
  • Take action, tailored to individual needs, for people with medically unexplained physical symptoms.
  • A service that responds rapidly to support people who self harm.

The teams

The mental health liaison teams include:

  • Medical secretaries and receptionists
  • Operational manager
  • Clinical nurse specialists
  • Occupational therapists
  • Clinical psychologists
  • Consultant psychiatrists
  • Specialist medic
  • Nurse consultant
  • Associate nurse consultants
  • Support workers. 

How to access the service

Referrals to the service are made by acute and community hospital facilities, by either fax, telephone or face to face, due to the high presence of the team on wards and in departments.

The service operates seven days a week, from 8am until 10pm.