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Correspondence from substance misuse services – what do general practitioners really want?

  • Devatha Radhae Shyam (a1) and Hugh Williams (a2)
Abstract
Aims and Method

To improve the quality of correspondence by identifying what general practitioners (GPs) regarded as the important attributes in patient letters from a substance misuse service. A postal questionnaire survey was carried out to determine the views of general practitioners in Brighton and Hove City.

Results

Responses were obtained from 32 out of 45 GP surgeries (71%) and indicated that correspondence should be prompt, concise and regular. An assessment summary, management plan and clear medication prescribing arrangements between primary and secondary services were considered particularly important.

Clinical Implications

New quality standards for correspondence to GPs have been implemented by the Brighton Substance Misuse Service. These might be of interest to other such services.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
References
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Blakey, A., Morgan, J. & Anderson, I. (1997) Communications between GPs and psychiatrists: the long and the short of it. Psychiatric Bulletin, 21, 622624.
Dunn, J. & Burton, S. (1999) GPs' views on discharge summaries. Psychiatric Bulletin, 23, 355357.
Hickman, M., Higgins, V., Hope, V., et al (2004) Injecting drug use in Brighton, Liverpool and London: best estimates of prevalence and coverage of public health indicators. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 58, 766771.
Reynolds, D. (1999) GPs' views on discharge summaries and new patient assessment letters. Psychiatric Bulletin, 23, 693694.
Scott, A., Mitchell, C. & Logan, E. (2004) An audit of consultant physicians' reply letters for referral to clinics in a tertiary teaching hospital. Internal Medicine Journal, 34, 3137.
White, T. & Marriott, S. (2004) Using evidence-based dissemination and implementation strategies to improve routine communication between general practitioners and community mental health teams. Psychiatric Bulletin, 28, 811.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Correspondence from substance misuse services – what do general practitioners really want?

  • Devatha Radhae Shyam (a1) and Hugh Williams (a2)
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