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Telephone calls were recorded in seven general practices in Aylesbury in a study of communications received from the hospitals, local health authority (L.H.A.), social services department, and other sources, but excluding calls from patients.
Analysis of 855 telephone calls revealed patterns of communication with the staff of the practices which have not previously been recorded. The general practitioners were central in communications from all sources except the local health authority, while calls to health visitors came overwhelmingly from the local health authority. Community nurses received only 36 (four per cent) of all the calls despite the interests expressed by hospital nursing staff in their responses to a postal questionnaire. A hypothesis is advanced to explain this discrepancy between interest and action.