Do patients like continuity of care? Or is it that folk favour a fresh pair of eyes and a new team looking at things?
There's been an irritating practice of late, in my corner, that as soon as someone turns 65 years old, they're referred from their existing working age adult mental health services, to mental health services for older people, and to me. It's flagrantly outwith our Trust's graduation policy, they're all read, shredded and filed carefully in the bin with a succinct letter back to the referrer, but it got me thinking.
Locally, patients we asked favour staying within existing services and didn't want to move on the basis of age alone.
Happily, 2 local audits of working age adult patients (well, they were called audits, but they were surveys) found that patients feel the same way that I do. If they've clinical reasons for being under my care, with stuff that I can do better, I'm keen to snaffle them on over to my corner. If they've no reason to transfer care, I'm keen for them to stay with their existing team.
Surely transfer of care on basis of age alone, not clinical need, is flirting dangerously with age discrimination, no?