Consultants and consultationliaison psychiatric services

Consultations in a general hospital are not only performed by psychiatrists but also by social workers, psychologists, and specialist psychiatric nurses (CL nurses). In Germany, there are psychosomatic consultants providing CL services, the majority of whom are medical specialists trained in psychotherapy. The services can be delivered by individual consultants and also by multidisciplinary teams headed by a psychiatrist; such teams, sometimes referred to as consultation-liaison psychiatric services, may be an organizational unit of the hospital. Currently, CL psychiatry is mainly practised on medical and surgical wards, but referrals are increasingly being requested from the outpatient setting and primary care or nursing homes. In outpatient settings and primary care, the psychiatrist may become one of several doctors providing specialist care.

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