Trust sets example by providing quality services for people with medically unexplained symptoms

Two of our services cited as examples of how to provide high quality care for people with medically unexplained symptoms (MUS).

The Leeds Liaison Psychiatry Service and the National Inpatient Centre for Psychological Medicine are featured as case studies in national guidance for commissioners that examines what good services look like.

The guidance has been issued by the Joint Commissioning Panel for Mental Health, which is co-chaired by the Royal College of General Practitioners and the Royal College of Psychiatrists. Its intention is to encourage the commissioning of comprehensive services for those with medically unexplained symptoms.

The term ‘medically unexplained symptoms’ is commonly used to describe people with pain in different parts of the body, discomfort, fatigue and exhaustion, as well as a variety of other symptoms which cannot be easily explained. Some people with medically unexplained symptoms also have mental health conditions such as anxiety or depression, which are either caused by, or exacerbate, their physical health concerns.

The Leeds Liaison Psychiatry Service is one of three case studies featured in the guidance. The team supports people whose physical health problems have led them to experience emotional difficulties. Many of the people using the service have been referred from the general hospital and have been receiving treatment for physical health issues. They will either be treated by the Hospital Mental Health Team, or will receive Cognitive Behavioural Therapy from a specialist in the Liaison Psychiatry Service.

The other Trust service to receive recognition in the guidance is the National Inpatient Centre for Psychological Medicine (formerly known as the Yorkshire Centre for Psychological Medicine or YCPM).

The NICPM is an eight-bed specialist inpatient unit at Leeds General Infirmary for people with complex medically unexplained symptoms and physical and psychological healthcare needs. Typically, patients are bed-bound, with every aspect of their daily life determined by their illness. Once admitted, they are given a comprehensive assessment before receiving a range of recovery-focused interventions.

For more information, visit the Joint Commissioning Panel for Mental Health website.