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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. 1980 April; 30(213): 220–223.
PMCID: PMC2159459

A comparison of self-referred patients to accident and emergency departments between an urban district and a rural district


Patients referring themselves to accident and emergency departments in two districts were compared: West Somerset, a sparsely populated semi-rural district with 113 general practitioners, and Islington, a densely populated, deprived urban district with 86 general practitioners. It was found that an Islington resident is twice as likely to attend the accident and emergency department. A slightly higher proportion of Islington attenders came with a general practitioner's referral letter and there were many more unregistered attenders, which probably reflected a much more mobile population. Interesting comparisons were found between the registered and unregistered attenders in Islington. Islington attenders were two and a half times more likely to come with a non-emergency. The West Somerset attender was nearly twice as likely to arrive with a genuine accident.

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