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Psychiatric patients and their medical care

  • Sunny Collings (a1) and Sara Myers (a2)
Extract

Informal discussions between psychiatric trainees reveal frequent difficulties and frustrations in providing adequate medical care to psychiatric patients. Our writing this article was prompted by the death of a patient who had been referred to casualty with behavioural and physical problems, and who, once labelled as a ‘psychiatric patient, did not receive the medical attention he required. Other trainees will have their own similar examples, at best resulting in only inconvenience to the junior doctor. This may seem surprising given the knowledge that people with psychiatric problems suffer increased physical morbidity. We were all taught as medical students that a physical presentation may mask a psychological problem and vice versa, and that both problems may co-exist. However, this knowledge does not always impinge on hospital clinical practice. From the viewpoint of junior psychiatrists, cross-specialty referral and consultation, and the provision of adequate medical care to our patients can be difficult. In this discussion, we will deal briefly with the contribution of ‘physical’ medicine to this state of affairs and then turn in more detail to the influence of psychiatry. Recommendations for improvement are made.

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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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Kafetz, K. (1988) Medical problems of elderly patients admitted to a mental illness hospital – incidence, nature and importance for service provision. Health Trends, 20, 7981.
Mayou, R., Anderson, H., Feinmann, C., et al (1990) The present state of consultation and liaison psychiatry. Psychiatric Bulletin, 14, 321325.
Royal College of Psychiatrists (1990) Statement on approval of training schemes for general professional training for the MRCPsych. Psychiatric Bulletin, 14, 110118.
United Kingdom Central Council for Nursing, Midwifery, and Health Visiting (1987) Project Paper 9. Project 2000 The Final Proposals.
Weller, M., Tobiansky, R. I., Hollander, D., et al (1989) Psychosis and destitution at Christmas 1985–88. Lancet, ii, 15091511.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Psychiatric patients and their medical care

  • Sunny Collings (a1) and Sara Myers (a2)
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