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Thursday, October 26, 2006


Dear General Practitioner,

If you are referring a patient to hospital out of hours who is confused or who has severe dementia, it would be really, really helpful if you sent a letter with the ambulance crew detailing why he or she needs hospital admission. Perhaps a copy of their current medications or past medical history would be useful as well.

If this is not done, then hospital doctors like myself will be forced to think that you are either lazy or stupid or both.

This evening, I have seen five confused patients who have been admitted to the hospital with no referral letter. This is unacceptable. How am I supposed to treat a patient when I don't know what the problem is?

Perhaps you think that I could call up your office and get all the details from you. However, your surgery is closed after 6pm. I will have to wait until 9am tomorrow morning to get information. If you felt that a patient could wait until tomorrow morning to get treatment, then perhaps you shouldn't send them into hospital as an 'emergency'.

Kindly wake up your ideas.

yours sincerely,


Blogger hamster said...

I'm not sure they'd understand the phrase "wake up your ideas".

Then again, they might not understand the rest of your letter either.

4:03 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You should see the general practitioner referrals that we get in oral medicine.
Sometimes, I have to pick my mandible up from the floor.

9:47 pm  
Blogger tscd said...

hamster: Why wouldn't they understand my letter? They went to school, they can read.

anon: What kind of referrals do you get?

4:11 pm  
Anonymous us gp said...

Can't you call them at home? My hospital consultants can and do call me at home, and a joy it is I assure you. Sometimes it's even for something important!

11:57 am  

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