PMCCPMCCPMCC

Search tips
Search criteria 

Advanced

 
Logo of bmjThe BMJ
 
BMJ. 1988 November 12; 297(6658): 1246–1248.
PMCID: PMC1834740

Referrals to hospital by general practitioners: a study of compliance and communication.

Abstract

To determine the extent of non-attendance at first hospital appointments 269 hospital referrals made in one practice over 14 weeks were analysed retrospectively. Non-attendance was more likely among patients referred to outpatient departments than to casualty or for admission. Fifteen per cent (41/269) of all patients and 20% (33/167) of outpatients failed to keep their initial appointments. Prolonged waiting times from referral to appointment were significantly related to non-attendance. Twenty weeks after the last referral had been made no communication had been received by the practice for 24% (61/252) of all referral letters received by the hospital. Minimum delays to appointments and improved communication between hospitals and general practitioners would help general practitioners to make appropriate referrals and improve compliance.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (687K), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Wilkin D, Smith AG. Variation in general practitioners' referral rates to consultants. J R Coll Gen Pract. 1987 Aug;37(301):350–353. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Wilkin D, Smith A. Explaining variation in general practitioner referrals to hospital. Fam Pract. 1987 Sep;4(3):160–169. [PubMed]
  • Sandler DA, Mitchell JR. Interim discharge summaries: how are they best delivered to general practitioners? Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1987 Dec 12;295(6612):1523–1525. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Grace JF, Armstrong D. Referral to hospital: perceptions of patients, general practitioners and consultants about necessity and suitability of referral. Fam Pract. 1987 Sep;4(3):170–175. [PubMed]
  • Carpenter PJ, Morrow GR, Del Gaudio AC, Ritzler BA. Who keeps the first outpatient appointment? Am J Psychiatry. 1981 Jan;138(1):102–105. [PubMed]
  • Davies P. Why don't patients turn up? Health Soc Serv J. 1984 Jul 26;94(4907):886–887. [PubMed]
  • Rashid A. Do patients cash prescriptions? Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1982 Jan 2;284(6308):24–26. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Leese AM, Wilson JA, Murray JA. A survey of the non-attendance rate at the ENT clinic of a district general hospital. Clin Otolaryngol Allied Sci. 1986 Feb;11(1):37–40. [PubMed]
  • Grace JF, Armstrong D. Reasons for referral to hospital: extent of agreement between the perceptions of patients, general practitioners and consultants. Fam Pract. 1986 Sep;3(3):143–147. [PubMed]

Articles from The BMJ are provided here courtesy of BMJ Publishing Group