Staff clinic helping psychological services

NHS Lanarkshire consultation clinic to discuss patient cases helping to reduce inappropriate referrals

Thursday 15th August 2019

A drop-in clinic where health staff can discuss patient cases is helping to reduce inappropriate referrals to specialist psychology services.

Each month the Clydesdale psychological therapies team (PTT), based at Carluke Community Health Centre, receives between 40-50 referrals for therapy for patients aged 16 and over.

The conditions range from mild anxiety – which can be helped by a stress control class – to severe difficulties which require long-term individual therapy.

Since June 2018, two psychologists have been offering a drop-in clinic where staff including nurses, psychiatrists and social workers can discuss cases.

NHS Lanarkshire says this is helping to ensure patients are getting the ‘right psychological support at the right time’ – and reducing inappropriate referrals.

The project was introduced following the establishment of the Scottish Government’s mental health access improvement support team (MHAIST), which supports health boards to improve the quality and accessibility of appropriate assessment and therapy services.

Dr Simon Stuart, clinical psychologist and project lead, said: “The help we’ve had from MHAIST has made all the difference between simply getting the project off the ground and actually embedding it in practice.” 

He added: “I’m proud of what we have achieved and keen to explore how we can build on the good work of the PTT.”