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Charles Essex writes about the practice of providing patients with a copy of referral letters.
Some years ago I sat in on some clinics held by our local dermatologist who had a reputation for his letters. What surprised me was watching him dictate his letters with the patient in front of him. I thought that this was an excellent idea, so started to do this. Eventually I progressed the principle to typing the letters whilst the patient was still with me and if they wanted a copy, I gave them one.
This had a number of advantages. The patient knew the content of the letter and knew that it had been done and was likely to be soon transferred to the hospital. I had the patient with me to ensure that the information was accurate. Finally, I didn't have to spend time later doing my letters.