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Quality of referrals to old age psychiatry following introduction of the single assessment process

  • Kathleen Ferriter (a1), Partha Gangopadhyay (a1), Ramin Nilforooshan (a1), Mark Ardern (a1) and James Warner (a2)...
Abstract
Aims and Method

We sought to identify changes in the quality of information in referrals to an old age psychiatry service before and after the introduction of the single assessment process. Referrals were compared in terms of length, legibility, information and clinical utility.

Results

Compared with letters before the introduction of the single assessment process, referrals made on the new forms took longer to read (mean 96 v. 124 s, P=0.001), had more illegible sections (P=0.011), contained less information (P=0.026) and were judged to be less clinically useful (P=0.001).

Clinical Implications

The introduction of the single assessment process has impaired clinical communication between general practitioners and psychiatrists, and might be prejudicial to patient care.

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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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Cohen, Z. A. (2003) The single assessment process: an opportunity for collaboration or a threat to the profession of occupational therapy? British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 66, 201208.
Department of Health (2001) National Service Framework for Older People. London: Department of Health.
Glasby, J. (2004) Social services and the single assessment process: early warning signs? Journal of Interprofessional Care, 18, 129136.
Roland, M. & Coulter, A. (1992) Hospital Referrals. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Swift, C. G. (2002) The NHS English National Service Framework for Older People: opportunities and risks. Clinical Medicine, 2, 139143.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Quality of referrals to old age psychiatry following introduction of the single assessment process

  • Kathleen Ferriter (a1), Partha Gangopadhyay (a1), Ramin Nilforooshan (a1), Mark Ardern (a1) and James Warner (a2)...
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