Table 1

Reasons relevant to the patient's decision to attend A&E

Frequency reported
ReasonsNumber%* Strength of reason for attending A&E
*Estimated proportion (%) of all non-urgent A&E attenders giving this reason.
Availability of other services
I don't have a GP63Medium
My GP was not available125Medium
Nowhere else has 24 hour open access6630Weak
Awareness of other services
I didn't know where else to go3315Weak
I am not aware of any other services3316Weak
I don't know what other services are open...4723Weak
I don't know if my GP is available168Weak
Patient preferences
I didn't want to see my GP133Medium
I can't always see the GP I would like62Medium
I didn't want to bother my GP104Medium
I wanted to see the nurse practitioner32Medium
Positive experiences of A&E
I've used A&E before and was happy...8438Strong
I'm confident in the A&E system7432Strong
Processes and patient's time
My GP would only refer me here anyway4916Medium
I would have to wait for a GP appointment6227Medium
I think I will be seen quicker here...3213Medium
Convenience of access
A&E is nearer than any other service2911Medium
It's easier to get to than any other service3013Medium
Perceptions of seriousness
I wanted to see a specialist174Strong
I consider the condition an emergency2411Strong
I wanted to see a doctor asap5824Strong
I thought I might need to go into hospital144Strong
I don't know whether it is broken or not7733Strong
Seeking reassurance
I need reassuring that not serious9233Medium
I wanted a second opinion235Medium
Other directed
…advised by friends/family4720Medium
…advised by others6123Strong
Seeking particular services
I thought I needed a radiograph11248Strong
I thought I might need a tetanus injection147Medium
I thought I might need a blood test81Medium
I thought it needed stitches2012Medium