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Emergency psychiatric assessments: effects of accessing clinical records on outcome

  • S H Roberts (a1), A A Woodall (a2), E Bedson (a3) and D B Menkes (a1)

Aims and Methods: A retrospective cohort was identified to examine the impact of information availability on outcome of emergency psychiatric assessment.

Results: Of 144 assessments undertaken during a 2-month period, 110 (76%) involved patients already known to regional psychiatric services, with records held on-site and remote from acute services at the District General Hospital site. 18 (16%) on-site clinical records were accessed during emergency assessments, only 3 (3%) of which were accessed during out-of-hours. No off-site records were accessed. Admission rates were low, with only 22 (15%) of assessments leading to admission and 63 (44%) resulting in onward referral to other services. Outcome for in- and out-of-hours assessments did not differ.

Conclusion: Our data failed to show a significant effect of accessing clinical records on admission rate.

Corresponding author
Correspondence to: Dr S.H. Roberts, North Wales Section of Psychological Medicine, Institute of Medical and Social Care Research (IMSCaR), WMI Academic Unit, Wrexham Technology Park, Wrexham LL13 7YP. Tel: 019 7872 7406; E-mail:
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Journal of Psychiatric Intensive Care
  • ISSN: 1742-6464
  • EISSN: 1744-2206
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-psychiatric-intensive-care
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