Article Text

PDF

Primary care problems in patients attending a semi-rural accident and emergency unit: a prospective study.
  1. R L Cottingham
  1. Eastbourne District General Hospital, East Sussex, UK.

    Abstract

    OBJECTIVE: To analyse the characteristics of patients attending a coastal resort accident and emergency (A&E) unit and compare use by summer visitors with use by the indigenous winter population by previously validated assessment criteria. SETTING: Accident and emergency unit of a semi-rural coastal town district general hospital. SUBJECTS: 3643 first attenders in the summer cohort and 2876 in the winter cohort. METHODS: All patients attending the A&E unit over two 28 day periods in summer and winter 1995 were assessed prospectively in four categories by trained, experienced nurse assessors. Category 4 identified patients who fulfilled the King's College Hospital criteria as being suitable for care from primary care practitioners. RESULTS: 43.8% of the summer patients could have been seen in the primary care setting, as could 38.7% of the winter visitors. CONCLUSIONS: The proportion of patients with primary care problems who attend semi-rural A&E units appears to be much higher than previously thought. These findings cast doubt on the validity of the King's College Hospital criteria for classifying patients to either primary care or A&E categories.

    Statistics from Altmetric.com

    Request permissions

    If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

    Linked Articles