Paediatric Mental Health Team (PMHT)
- Whittington Hospital
- N19 5NF
- 020 7288 5356
- 24/7 all borough service
A small multidisciplinary child and family mental health liaison team working across the Whittington Hospital. The team provides clinical services to infants, children and young people under the age of 18, and their families.
Based primarily within the paediatric and neonatal departments, the liaison team supports effective paediatric care with clinical interventions aimed at:
- Reduction of symptoms, better treatment adherence and fewer or shorter admissions in chronic and unexplained disorders
- Rapid assessment in mental health crisis
Long term conditions and medically unexplained symptoms.
Many children in paediatric care, especially those with life-limiting illnesses or chronic disorders – for example asthma or diabetes – experience psychological and developmental difficulties. Children with epilepsy are four times more likely also to have a mental disorder.
Parents of under 5s with severe feeding and sleeping disorders often require mental health management beyond medical investigation and treatment of the child.
Persistent medically unexplained symptoms at any age are common in paediatric practice and require careful liaison between paediatrics and mental health in order to avoid prolonged or recurrent hospital admissions.
Children who have a parent, guardian or sibling who is a seriously ill patient at the Whittington Hospital may also be referred to the team.
The role of the liaison team is to support hospital services and it does not take direct referrals from GPs.
Therefore referral to the service is by hospital staff only.
However, if a child is already a paediatric patient at the Whittington and the GP feels that a behavioural or emotional problem may be related to the child's ongoing medical condition they should approach the consultant paediatrician for advice.
Otherwise GPs should refer children and adolescents with mental health problems to the local Child and Family Psychiatric Service (Islington 020 7445 8150; Haringey 020 8442 6467) that supports their practice.