A retrospective study was made of all patients admitted to the general wards of The London Hospital in 1968 who were coded on discharge as having a psychiatric diagnosis. Two hundred and fifty-two were selected as suitable for an investigation of factors associated with psychiatric referral. About one-third were seen by a psychiatrist and referral was found to be related to age, to type of psychiatric illness and the extent to which it was due to organic disease, to a suicidal attempt and to previous psychiatric contact. Referral rates also varied considerably between different medical consultants.
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