The quality of written communication between psychiatrists and general practitioners has become increasingly important, with the introduction of the Access to Health Records Act as well as with demands placed by the purchasers of psychiatric services. We investigated if a hospital-based audit could be used to monitor the quality of written communications with general practitioners, and if ‘closing the audit loop’ could improve the standards. We found that audit may have helped improve standards, particularly in making letters less potentially offensive and easier to read by non-psychiatrists. A method of measuring the quality of letters is described.
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