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A prospective survey of all telephone calls for medical advice to the Accident & Emergency Department of Leicester Royal Infirmary was undertaken. The objectives of the study were to quantitate the frequency and circumstances related to these inquiries. Over the study period of 10 days, details of 154 telephone calls were recorded. The results demonstrated the perception of the general public, that the A & E department was the most logical place to contact. Only 30% (46) attempted to seek advice from their general practitioner prior to calling the department.