Neurological ward consultations are frequently requested to assist with the management of inpatients at district general hospitals. The aim of this service evaluation was to assess the quality and patient characteristics of neurological ward referrals at our institution.Methods
Five hundred and sixty-two referrals were reviewed, representing a sample of the referrals from a six-year period. Quality was assessed through articulation of clinical question, supplied clinical details, and legibility. A grade was assigned to score these domains (one-poor, two-adequate, three-good). Information was also recorded on reason for referral, and when applicable time taken to see the patient.Results
For the studied referrals, the median quality rating for clinical question, supplied clinical details and legibility was graded as adequate. The commonest reasons for assessments related to management of seizures (17%), management of Parkinson’s disease (11%) and management of altered conscious level (7%). Lastly, in applicable referrals (92%) and when recorded (89% of cases) the median time for the patient to be seen was two-days (range 0–14).Conclusion
Our findings suggest the quality of neurological referrals, against the studied parameters, was generally adequate at our hospital. Attempts to improve this process may include an electronic referral system and a neurological themed proforma.