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We assessed venous thromboembolism (VTE) risk, barriers to prescribing VTE prophylaxis and completion of VTE risk assessment in psychiatric in-patients. This was a cross-sectional study conducted across three centres. We used the UK Department of Health VTE risk assessment tool which had been adapted for psychiatric patients.
Of the 470 patients assessed, 144 (30.6%) were at increased risk of VTE. Patients on old age wards were more likely to be at increased risk than those on general adult wards (odds ratio = 2.26, 95% CI 1.51–3.37). Of those at higher risk of VTE, auditors recorded concerns about prescribing prophylaxis in 70 patients (14.9%). Only 20 (4.3%) patients had a completed risk assessment.
Mental health in-patients are likely to be at increased risk of VTE. VTE risk assessment is not currently embedded in psychiatric in-patient care. There is a need for guidance specific to this population.
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