To examine knowledge among Scottish psychiatrists of the 1996 guidance on National Health Service (NHS) responsibility for continuing healthcare, a postal questionnaire was devised and sent to the 132 consultants and specialist registrars in the South-East Scotland Deanery in May 2007.
Two-thirds of the clinicians (67%, n= 88) responded, 88% of whom had in-patient responsibilities. Only 24% responded positively to an awareness of the current Scottish guidance. There was a strong association between awareness of the guidance and psychiatric speciality, and greater awareness among clinicians with previous experience of a relevant complaint or appeal.
Uncertainty about NHS continuing healthcare guidance among practising psychiatrists suggests a need for increased awareness of the issues, with training implications for the new guidance on NHS continuing healthcare in Scotland which became effective in February 2008.
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