The aim of medical audit is to improve the quality of medical care (Department of Health, 1989). There was concern that patients referred to a psychogeriatric service (Service X) did not have adequate access to computerised tomography. The nearest computerised tomography scanner was located in a neighbouring district and direct referrals were not accepted. Computerised tomography scans could be obtained indirectly by referral to neurosurgeons. Because of these difficulties “potentially treatable structural lesions” (such as cerebral tumours and subdural haematomas) may have been missed. We decided to compare the use of computerised tomography scans with a nearby service (Service Y) which had a computerised tomography scanner on site. Service X had a catchment population of 33,000 aged over 65 and Service Y a catchment population of 23,420 aged over 65.
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