To develop a guideline that would encourage a systematic approach for both psychiatrists and general practitioners in the provision of safe, effective and consistent management of patients who are prescribed lithium. A multi-disciplinary working group developed the guideline following literature review and consultation with lithium clinics and specialist centres nationally.
The Lothian lithium guidelines include three sections: (a) a lithium treatment plan; (b) advice for clinicians on managing lithium levels; and (c) pointers for counselling patients on lithium. The treatment plan is a key document in the guidelines which, once completed, ensures continuity of care with the transfer of patient-specific information.
This development has provided the opportunity for primary and secondary care services to work together in producing a guideline that will improve patient care and minimises risk.
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