The trust has employed its first dedicated mental health nurse to help manage the growing number of patients attending A&E with mental health problems.
Northwick Park and Ealing hospitals have seen a steady increase in patients attending A&E with mental health issues in recent years.
“I’ve always been interested in what makes people tick,” said Novia Mak who grasped the opportunity to start the service from scratch.
The 24 year-old already had a job offer in Australia but decided to stay in the UK after successfully applying for the post.
Her previous roles included working in the personality disorder unit at Rampton, the high security psychiatric hospital.
Novia added: “A lot of us feel unsettled by mental health but it’s important to remember that the majority of people with mental health problems are a far greater risk to themselves than anyone else.
“I work alongside colleagues in A&E helping review and manage patients as well as refer them onto specialist mental health services. I also visit the acute wards to see how people are doing.”
A number of measures have been reviewed or introduced since Novia began including a mental health triage tool and absconders project, staff training, promoting mental wellbeing with patients and staff, greater use of healthcare assistants and skill swap sessions between A&E and mental health nurses.
The hospital also has a liaison psychiatry team of doctors and nurses who look after the psychological health of patients on wards and in the A&E department.
Novia added: “It’s interesting because you never know who is going to come through the door. It could be anything from anxiety and schizophrenia to an eating or personality disorder which can make treatment of a physical injury difficult if someone is agitated.
Does she have any regrets about not heading Down Under?
“No. I’m right where I want to be.”