Going where no other researchers go: Collecting information from primary and secondary care notes of people with severe mental illness in England
  • Meeting Room 2, ITTC Building, Plymouth Science Park

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In this multi-site, retrospective, cross-sectional review of primary and secondary care notes conducted in three locations in England, we aimed to describe mental health service delivery and use for people with a severe mental illness (SMI) diagnosis. 

Such data has thus far been limited in scope and depth, and summative service use data from NHS records systems is unreliable. We developed a method for manually extracting care pathway and service use data from patient secondary mental health care and primary care electronic medical records (n= 297). 

By accessing secondary care notes, we were able to uncover the type, content and detail of secondary care contact that was vastly under-recorded in primary care and not visible in the previous ‘sister’ study (PARTNERS1). Of the 24,692 contacts recorded over a two year period, 81.57% took place in secondary care. 

In this seminar, Cathy McCabe will reflect how this labour-intensive method of data extraction from administrative databases can yield a wealth of pertinent results in the study of complex healthcare systems. 

Many of the findings in this study, including the variations in staffing structure and the relative burden of care between primary and secondary care would not have been accessible via other methods. This highlights the need for greater research access to patient records and the need for cross-boundary informational continuity between primary and secondary care settings.

This event is open to Plymouth University staff, postgraduate students and researchers. Contact laura.gill@plymouth.ac.uk for any queries.

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