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Clin Med (Lond). 2011 Jun;11(3):215-7.

The inpatient neurology consultation service: value and cost.

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Department of Neurology, Russells Hall Hospital, Dudley Group of Hospitals NHS Trust, Dudley.


Neurological conditions comprise a significant proportion of patient admissions to hospital but, in the majority of cases, are admitted under the care of non-neurological physicians. As a consequence, neurological ward consultations are commonly requested by the admitting medical teams to review diagnoses and management plans. The outcomes of neurological ward consultations were examined and the time required for the referral process recorded by performing a detailed prospective three-month audit of inpatient referrals to the neurology service. The consultations of 120 patients were recorded, categorised and analysed. These consultations were beneficial in the vast majority of cases, with a clear impact on patient diagnoses or management plans. The consultation process was time consuming, however, both in respect of the initial review, but also with follow-up visits. This audit highlights the importance of neurological input in the diagnosis and management of hospital inpatients. The time taken for this process should be resourced appropriately.

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