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GPs to get better mental health discharges

Psychiatrists and GPs develop improved mental health discharge summaries

Louise Prime

Tuesday, 09 October 2012

GPs should now receive much better information when their patients are discharged from in-patient mental health care, thanks to a collaboration between psychiatrists, GPs and informatics experts, the Royal College of Psychiatrists has announced.

GPs, patients and carers have in the past all complained that when people are discharged from mental health care, the information provided to their GPs has been inconsistent, or sometimes too detailed, thus impeding good follow-up care.

The Royal Colleges of Psychiatrists and General Practitioners have worked together, facilitated by the Department of Health Informatics Directorate’s Clinical Data Standards Assurance team, to help standardise the information that GPs will receive in future.

They have collaborated on designing standards and summaries that they say provide useful and succinct information to help doctors provide better continuity of care for people discharged from in-patient mental health care. The new Mental Health Discharge Summary incorporates feedback from clinicians, patients who have received mental health care, suppliers and health and social care representatives.

Several mental health trusts, including the Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust and Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, are now implementing the new Summary.

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