Half term report: Sustainable outcomes for Liverpool and the RCPsych scholarship

Arif Ahmed's picture

The main focus of my scholarship to date has been involvement with Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) on their liaison service redevelopment. This has given me an insight into commissioning, business cases and the importance of networking. I have been able to attend important meetings at the CCG about the project and introduce them to the four principles of sustainability:


I have visited a local liaison service in Liverpool which has given some useful insights into the current setup. I am helping Liverpool CCG on the outcomes section of their business case, introducing ‘sustainable liaison outcomes’. The latter has been put together as an abstract and submitted to the liaison faculty for a potential poster and stand at the conference in Birmingham in May 2016. This has involved some joined up working with my fellow scholar Oliver and expert support from Phil and Frances.

You might be thinking what benefits there are to thinking sustainably in liaison psychiatry. Actually, by looking at a service’s structure and outcomes through a lens of the 4 sustainability principles, one might expect improvements such as these:

  • Improved patient and family satisfaction with services
  • Greater patient resilience through education and linking up with community services
  • Improved access to local psychiatric inpatient beds, meaning less travel and more convenience for family
  • Better outcomes for vulnerable groups such as the homeless and asylum seekers
  • Reduction in unnecessary investigations

These are just a handful of the potential positive outcomes – keep an eye out on the Psych Susnet blog over the coming months for a more detailed report.

As well as engaging colleagues at the CCG in Liverpool, I have also given talks on sustainability in Cumbria (where I work) to the frail elderly pathway Vanguard group and at a dementia steering group meeting (given via teleconference!). I plan to further this with potential talks to trainees and medical students at educational sessions. There will hopefully be an opportunity to lead a session to my fellow higher trainees in psychiatry, which could increase awareness in sustainability and encourage others to take up future scholarships.

If time permits I would like to do a quality improvement project with Liverpool CCG on a selection of the sustainable outcomes. Another potential project is to measure the carbon footprint of the liaison service as a case study, possibly as a joint project with my fellow scholars. I am soon to work with Frances on the ‘improving value’ section of a mental health service review template.

At almost midpoint through this scholarship, I can genuinely say that I have been fortunate to have had this opportunity and enjoyed the journey so far. It has enhanced my training in psychiatry by opening my eyes to sustainability, commissioning and the impact one can have on the services we work in as psychiatrists. I look forward to the second half of the scholarship, collaborating with supportive colleagues and hopefully gaining further tools to be of greater benefit to my patients. For those doctors in training who wish to broaden their experiences and perspectives, I would recommend they consider a special interest in sustainability. For further information contact Dr Frances Mortimer at frances.mortimer@sustainablehealthcare.org.uk


great work

Michael Pearce's picture

Great work Arif! I'm looking forward to seeing how sustainability concepts can fit in liaison psychiatry.


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