Due to a concern over the low level of referrals of children to the child and adolescent psychiatry team, an audit was designed to investigate the possible causes. An audit was undertaken in which the case notes of 100 consecutive adult female admissions to acute wards in Goodmayes Hospital were screened. The case notes were screened for mention of children, any actions taken on their behalf, in addition to a number of demographic and social factors.
The findings of the audit indicate that children of psychiatrically ill mothers do not receive the attention they need, as indicated by the literature on the topic.
More detailed case history-taking by the parent's psychiatrist and closer cooperation between adult and child psychiatry departments are suggested as two methods of addressing this need.
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