Communication within the CPS and links with other health and social services

      To ensure good communication and co-ordination between staff members, a series of meetings take place: every day there is a general meeting at the Mental Health Centre (from 9.00 to 9.30 a.m., sometimes longer). The doctor who has been on-call the previously day briefly reports on patients he/she has seen at the casualty department, and gives relevant information on all other patients who were referred to him/her. The senior nurses from the hospital psychiatric ward and the Mental Health Centre, one representative member of the hostel staff, and eventually other participants briefly report on information that they believe should be known by all other staff. After the general meeting, each multidisciplinary team meets to organize the day's clinical activities across the various service facilities, including the hospital ward, as required. There are also weekly meetings on the hospital ward, at the Mental Health Centre, at the hostel and meetings when there are special cases to be discussed.

      The South-Verona CPS is well integrated, allowing patients easy access to most components and easy transfer from one component to another, according to need. A "drop in" approach is encouraged at the Mental Health Centre and patients can seek care from specialist services directly, without referral from GPs. However most patients are referred by GPs and referred back to them by the CPS, when it is felt that less stigmatizing care can be provided through primary care. There are good relations between primary and secondary care and regular meetings are held with GPs who are interested to discuss how to improve the primary care / mental health service interface.