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.
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.
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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