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Changing patterns in the care of emergencies in the community: workload of the Westcountry Ambulance Service 1994–2001
  1. H R Guly1,
  2. G Bryce2
  1. 1Accident and Emergency Department, Derriford Hospital, Plymouth PL6 8DH, UK
  2. 2Accident and Emergency Department, Taunton and Somerset Hospital, Taunton and Westcountry Ambulance Service
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr H R Guly; 

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The acute work of the ambulance service is of two sorts. Emergencies result from 999 telephone calls usually made by members of the public. Urgent transfers follow a request by a general practitioner (GP) or other health care professional to take a patient to hospital. In recent years there has been a large increase in emergency calls to the ambulance service. This has not been associated with a reduction in severity of illness, as judged by patient disposal from the A&E department.1 We felt that some of the increasing emergency calls was caused by a reduction in urgent calls and tested this hypothesis by examining the workload of the Westcountry Ambulance Service …

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