The reasons for and appropriateness of referral of patients after initial visit to accident & emergency (A&E) follow-up clinics by the A&E doctors were prospectively analysed in 500 patients. Fifteen per cent of patients were judged to have been inappropriately referred. Two main reasons for referral were the need for further treatment and uncertainty about diagnosis and management. The implications of reductions of A&E clinic attendances are discussed.
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