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Copying letters to older people in mental health services - policy with unfulfilled potential

Copying letters to older people in mental health services - policy with unfulfilled potential The important initiative from the Department of Health (Working Group on Copying Letters to Patients, 2002) to require that letters between clinicians should be copied to the patient has not been implemented as widely as was intended. There have been concerns about logistics and fears that patients might be confused or frightened by communications they are not equipped to understand. Yet, modifications of the system to allow patients the choice to receive or not receive such letters and suitable training for clinicians offer safeguards. There is no doubt that copying letters provides an inexpensive mechanism for involving patients in their own care and treatment, offering transparency and confirming respect for equality in the relationship between patient and clinician. This paper reports experience with copying letters to patients and families with dementia. The process was warmly received by patients and carers, including families in a black and minority ethnic (BME) community, and few adverse comments were made. The routine application of this initiative will have benefits for the quality of service experience for older people, including those with dementia. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Quality in Ageing and Older Adults Pier Professional

Copying letters to older people in mental health services - policy with unfulfilled potential

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Publisher
Pier Professional
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 by Pier Professional Limited
ISSN
1471-7794
eISSN
2042-8766
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The important initiative from the Department of Health (Working Group on Copying Letters to Patients, 2002) to require that letters between clinicians should be copied to the patient has not been implemented as widely as was intended. There have been concerns about logistics and fears that patients might be confused or frightened by communications they are not equipped to understand. Yet, modifications of the system to allow patients the choice to receive or not receive such letters and suitable training for clinicians offer safeguards. There is no doubt that copying letters provides an inexpensive mechanism for involving patients in their own care and treatment, offering transparency and confirming respect for equality in the relationship between patient and clinician. This paper reports experience with copying letters to patients and families with dementia. The process was warmly received by patients and carers, including families in a black and minority ethnic (BME) community, and few adverse comments were made. The routine application of this initiative will have benefits for the quality of service experience for older people, including those with dementia.

Journal

Quality in Ageing and Older AdultsPier Professional

Published: Sep 1, 2008

Keywords: copying letters

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