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Logo of jroyalcgpracBJGP at RCGPBJGP at PubMed CentralJ R Coll Gen Pract at PubMed CentralRCGP homepage
J R Coll Gen Pract. 1977 December; 27(185): 727–733.
PMCID: PMC2158656

Attendance at a London casualty department


Patients who attended the casualty department of the Middlesex Hospital during one week in 1973 were interviewed. A predominantly young and working population used the department. Relatively few patients lived close to the hospital but many worked nearby. One third of all attendances were by patients who had been asked to return by casualty doctors. About half the new patients came of their own accord; the next largest group had been sent directly from work by an employer or occupational health service. Half the patients came with injuries, many of them superficial, although there were also serious accident cases. One fifth of the patients had no general practitioner whom they could consult. Age and geographical mobility were related to whether or not patients were registered with a general practitioner. The main reasons for not consulting a general practitioner were that patients felt they needed hospital treatment or that it was more convenient to attend the casualty department. It is suggested that the view that casual attenders with relatively trivial complaints should be encouraged to go to a general practitioner is not always applicable since social as well as medical circumstances determine whether or not patients decide to visit casualty.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • BLACKWELL B. Why patients come to a casualty department. Lancet. 1962 Feb 17;1(7225):369–371. [PubMed]
  • Crombie DL. A Casualty Survey. J Coll Gen Pract Res Newsl. 1959 Nov;2(4):346–356. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Dixon PN, Morris AF. Casual attendances at an accident department and a health centre. Br Med J. 1971 Oct 23;4(5781):214–216. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Fairley J, Hewett WC. Survey of casualty departments in Greater London. Br Med J. 1969 May 10;2(5653):375–377. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • FRY L. Casualties and casuals. Lancet. 1960 Jan 16;1(7116):163–166. [PubMed]
  • LAMONT D. The casualty dilemma. Lancet. 1961 Nov 25;2(7213):1190–1193. [PubMed]
  • Pease R. A study of patients in a London accident and emergency department with special reference to general practice. Practitioner. 1973 Nov;211(265):634–638. [PubMed]

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