Quality statement 5: Communication of diagnosis to GPs

Quality statement

Adults with current or resolved delirium who are discharged from hospital have their diagnosis of delirium communicated to their GP.

Rationale

Improving communication between hospitals and GPs, and within hospital departments, may help people who are recovering from or who still have delirium to receive adequate follow-up care once they are back in the community or a long-term care home. Follow-up care may include treatment for reversible causes, investigation for possible dementia and a greater emphasis on preventing delirium recurring. A person's diagnosis of delirium may not be communicated to their GP because it is usually secondary to their main reason for admission, and it also may not be communicated between hospital wards when the person is transferred. A person's diagnosis of delirium during a hospital stay should be formally included in the discharge summary sent to their GP, and the term 'delirium' should be used.

Quality measures

Structure

Evidence of local arrangements to ensure that adults with current or resolved delirium who are discharged from hospital have their diagnosis of delirium communicated to their GP.

Data source: Local data collection.

Process

Proportion of adults with current or resolved delirium who are discharged from hospital who have their diagnosis of delirium communicated to their GP.

Numerator – the number in the denominator who have their diagnosis of delirium communicated to their GP.

Denominator – the number of adults with current or resolved delirium who are discharged from hospital.

Data source: Local data collection. The admitted patient care datasets contain data on the coding of delirium. Data for admissions to NHS hospitals in England are available at Hospital Episode Statistics online.

Outcome

Continuity of care from hospital to home.

Data source: Local data collection.

What the quality statement means for service providers, healthcare professionals and commissioners

Service providers (such as hospitals, GPs) ensure that systems are in place so that a diagnosis of delirium during a hospital stay is communicated to the person's GP after discharge.

Healthcare professionals in all hospital care settings ensure that a diagnosis of delirium during a hospital stay is communicated to the person's GP when they are discharged.

Commissioners (such as clinical commissioning groups [CCGs], NHS England area teams) ensure that they commission services that have systems in place to record people's diagnoses of delirium during hospital stays in discharge summaries sent to GPs. CCGs may wish to seek evidence that protocols are in place to record episodes of delirium during hospital stays.

What the quality statement means for patients, service users and carers

Adults who have had delirium in hospital have their diagnosis of delirium shared with their GP by hospital staff when they are discharged.

Source guidance

  • Delirium (NICE clinical guideline 103), recommendation 1.5.2 (key priority for implementation).