Audit of an inpatient neurology consultation service in a tertiary referral centre: value of the consulting neurologist

Ir Med J. 2005 May;98(5):134-7.


The Mater Misericordiae Hospital is a 575-bed tertiary referral centre with busy medical and surgical subspecialty services (including the national cardiac, cardiothoracic, spinal cord injury and pulmonary hypertension units). An audit of in-patient referrals to a neurology service was carried out over the twelve-month period of January to December 2002 inclusively. Five hundred and seventy seven inpatients were evaluated and managed in conjunction with the referring services. Consultation by the neurological service led to a significant contribution in the management of clinical cases in one of three ways: establishing a de novo diagnosis in patients admitted with active neurological symptoms where no working diagnosis exists (40.7% of referrals), significant alteration in diagnosis where the referring service have already established a specific working diagnosis (11.1% of referrals), or offering advice in the ongoing management of active neurological symptoms when the diagnosis is historically established and secure (48.2% of referrals). In order of frequency the most common reason for referral was stroke (131 cases (22.7%)), seizures unrelated to alcohol (59 cases (10.2%)), alcohol-related neurological problems (55 cases (9.5%)), movement disorders (41 cases (7.1%)), neuromuscular (40 cases (6.9%)), coma (35 cases (6%)), disorders of cognition (31 cases (5.3%)), acute headache (28 case (4.8%)) and functional neurological syndromes (26 cases (4.5%)). This audit highlights the value of a consulting neurology service in a multidisciplinary tertiary referral setting.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medical Audit*
  • Middle Aged
  • Nervous System Diseases / classification
  • Nervous System Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Referral and Consultation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Sex Distribution