Above, left to right: Sherri Harris, in reach advisor; Sarah Sims, mental health liaison nurse; Stuart Davies, occupational therapy technical instructor; Dr Natalie Hess, consultant psychiatrist; Devlyn Evans, clinical nurse specialist; Dr Mini Manoj, consultant psychiatrist and Clare Pressdee, liaison psychiatry manager.
A specialist team based at Morriston Hospital has become the only one in Wales to be accredited by the Royal College of Psychiatrists.
The Department of Liaison Psychiatry helps patients with a wide range of mental health issues, including dementia.
It works with people who have been referred from the Emergency Department or a ward at Morriston, Singleton, Neath Port Talbot and Gorseinon hospitals.
Since the department expanded in 2016, the multidisciplinary team has been working to achieve the college’s Centre for Quality Improvement accreditation.
To do this, it has had to demonstrate consistently high standards and make several changes to improve the quality of service offered.
Staff levels have been increased and the scope of the department’s services has been widened.
It is now open for longer too, with staff working from 7am to 10pm, seven days a week, to help those referred with mental health care needs.
But achieving the valuable accreditation would not have been possible without the support of staff in other departments.
Devlyn Evans, clinical nurse specialist, said “It’s not just our team who have contributed to this accreditation. Staff across the health board have been incredibly helpful.
“One criteria we had to meet involved us having a private room in the Emergency Department for psychiatric assessment.
“Space is very limited at Morriston A&E but they created a specific room for mental health assessments.
“Now we can speak to patients away from other people, respecting their privacy and dignity.
“We’ve had very positive acceptance of our work elsewhere across the health board too. They value our input and we value them being so accommodating of us.”
Clare Pressdee, Liaison Psychiatry Manager, said: “The whole team is so proud to achieve this accreditation.
“We were a new service when we set this goal and it’s required a lot of work to meet certain criteria from day one.”
The achievement means that staff are now part of an accreditation network. This will see them visiting other liaison services in the UK and bringing the best new ideas for mental health care back to Swansea Bay.