Performing well? Referrals to Rampton Hospital in 1993
Larkin, Emmet P.
Close, Angela A.
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The three Special Hospitals of England and Wales are provided for patients subject to detention on account of their dangerous, violent, or criminal propensities. Each referral to a Special Hospital is assessed by a consultant psychiatrist. Recommendations are scrutinized by a multidisciplinary local admissions panel before a decision is made to offer a bed. A performance indicator set by the Special Hospitals Service Authority suggested that referrals be assessed within 14 days. A second indicator addressed the number of recommendations made by the responsible medical officer (RMO) not supported by the local admissions panel. These performance indicators formed the basis of an audit of referrals to Rampton Hospital. From July to December 1993, the average length of time from the date of referral to the date of the assessment visit was 19 days. The length of time from the date of referral to the date of the local admissions panel meeting was 39 days and for those patients admitted (35) the average length of time from the date of referral to the date of admission was 41 days. These results are considered in the context of medical manpower shortages in the Special Hospitals.