The Hillingdon Psychiatric Liaison Team has returned to wearing uniforms after more than a decade, following a team vote and consulting with acute hospital staff and patients – the majority of whom were in support of wearing a uniform.
The Psychiatric Liaison Team spend the majority of their time in a hospital setting, either at Accident and Emergency or assessing and treating the mental health needs of patients, often in areas under strict infection control.
Kim Cox, Central and North West London's Hillingdon Borough director for mental health services, said: “I think they look really smart, which is good for patients to see too, this is still in the pilot stage and we’ll do another survey in a few weeks' time to see how people [staff and patients] feel about the change.”
Anthony McShane, the team's leader who works as a psychiatric liaison nurse, said: “The idea for uniforms came up a few months ago in a conversation among the team.
“It was suggested that we trial polo shirts and tunics within the liaison team at Hillingdon. Support for the decision came after gathering feedback from our hospital colleagues, who liked the idea. We are piloting the initiative for a few months, gathering as much feedback from colleagues and patients to see how we proceed.
“Overall it keeps us compliant with infection control policies; as well as making laundry at home easier!”
The option was also offered to the teams at Hillingdon Older People's Inpatient Services, who will start wearing uniforms soon.