Psychiatrist, Writer, Commentator

Evaluation of consultation liaison psychiatry in Australian public hospitals

Thursday, 18th May 2023

Flavel MJ, Holmes A, Ellen S, Khanna R



This study aimed to determine whether consultation liaison psychiatric service (CLS) staffing within Australian public hospitals meet national and international minimum staffing standards.


Semi structured interviews were conducted with CLS Directors across Australia from August to December 2021. Data were collected on demographics, staffing, funding, hospital size and admissions.


The majority of services did not meet minimum standards for CLS staffing. Non-medical staff outnumbered medical staff with increasing rurality. Psych-oncology CLS had the greatest resources, skill mix and service breadth.


Although CLS are heterogeneous, most services are inadequately resourced to provide baseline specialist mental health care in Australian hospitals. Establishing national minimum standards for CLS staffing will facilitate uniform service development and quality care provision.