Trainee psychiatrists often perform emergency mental health assessments. Traditionally, it has been considered that having access to past psychiatric records will reduce the likelihood of a patient being admitted. We examined whether the availability of records had an influence on admission by recording all contacts to the duty junior psychiatrist in two district general hospitals over a 6-month period.
For those with chronic or enduring mental illnesses there is a 27% increase in the likelihood of admission if past records are available. For all other patients the increase is 10%.
Contrary to our expectations, the availability of records increases the likelihood of admission to mental health admission units.
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