All hospital discharge communications concerned with acute admission from one general practice over a three month period were analysed. There was an appreciable delay between the time that the patient was discharged and the information was received by the general practitioner. Just over half of the patients had contacted their general practitioner after discharge before the general practitioner had received any information. The content of the communications was variable, and important subjects were frequently omitted. No communication was received for 11% of the discharged patients. There is a need for more efficient communication between secondary and primary care.