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Psychiatric discharge summaries in the South East Thames region

  • B. Essex (a1) and J. Rosenthal (a2)
Extract

Patients discharged after acute psychiatric admission are vulnerable, and need continuing care in the community. For these people and their families, the first two weeks after discharge is a critical time. This is when problems arise, support is needed, drugs run out, and default most likely. Care may be shared between psychiatrist, community psychiatric nurse, general practitioner and other health personnel. It is therefore essential to identify the roles and responsibilities of all involved in follow-up care. Studies have shown that information needed by general practitioners includes differential diagnosis, management, treatment on discharge, prognosis, what patient and relatives were told, future plans which specify the roles and responsibilities of all involved, as well as the date of any follow-up appointment. Moreover this information is needed within two weeks of discharge. Without this information effective follow-up is unlikely to occur. The early discharge summary provides this vital information in the immediate post-discharge period. This is quite distinct from the final report which usually takes a few weeks to be sent. It is therefore important to identify current psychiatric practice relating to the initial discharge summary.

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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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Essex, B. J., Doig, R. & Renshaw, J. (1990) Pilot study of records of shared care for people with mental illnesses. British Medical Journal, 300, 14421446.
Harding, J. (1987) Study of discharge communications from hospital doctors to an inner London general practice. Journal of the Royal College of General Practitioners, 454459.
Kerr, M. S. D. (1990) Psychiatric discharge summaries. British Medical Journal, 300, 260.
Orrell, M. W. & Greenberg, M. (1986) What makes psychiatric summaries useful to general practitioners? Bulletin of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, 10, 107109.
Rigby, J. C. & Cockburn, A. C. (1988) Psychiatric discharge summaries: an assessment of need. Practitioner, 232, 677679.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Psychiatric discharge summaries in the South East Thames region

  • B. Essex (a1) and J. Rosenthal (a2)
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