We describe the neuropsychiatry outreach clinic in west Kent and review referrals to the clinic over a 4-year period. By comparing the referral pattern of west Kent with adjacent health authorities we show how an outreach clinic can influence the number of neuropsychiatric referrals.
Referrals from west Kent increased from 87 in the 4-year period prior to the outreach clinic to 255 in the 4-year period that the clinic has been in existence. Forty-nine of these patients were first assessed in the outreach clinic. The number of referrals from east Surrey and east Sussex remained low in the same period.
An outreach clinic provides access to specialist expertise and increases local awareness of specialist services. Similar outreach clinics in other areas may enhance the clinical care of patients who are currently not being referred to neuropsychiatry.