Outpatient clinics

Psychiatric outpatient clinics, mainly conducted by the medical members of the team, exist for assessment and treatment of new referrals, and for follow-up of patients recently discharged from inpatient care. Many milder patients do not require indefinite clinic follow-up, but can be discharged to GP care with recommendations for future management. Patients who have had psychosis or bipolar affective disorder, among others, should remain in long-term follow-up.

Some clinic sessions, often supervised by specialist nurses, are dedicated to particular patient groups, such as those on long-term medication with lithium, depot antipsychotics, or clozapine. Computer registers to monitor the frequency of patient attendance, prescribing activity, and performance of relevant laboratory tests are a useful aid to managing such clinics and reviewing their performance.

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