The organization of psychiatric services for general hospital departments is described in this chapter. The focus is on services for inpatients, as most services are provided in medical and surgical wards.

The chapter begins with definitions of pertinent terms, followed by a brief historical description of psychiatric services, their current state, and expected developments in this field. Next, the main characteristics of the population served and the services delivered are described. This is followed by a discussion of those topics which need to be taken into account when organizing a consultation and liaison psychiatric service. Finally, training and pertinent literature sources are briefly mentioned.

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