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Seeing the same GP at every visit will reduce emergency department attendance
Date:7/24/2014

Attendances at emergency departments can be reduced by enabling patients to see the same GP every time they visit their doctor's surgery. This is just one of several recommendations made in a report published today, led by researchers at the University of Bristol.

Called 'Primary care factors and unscheduled secondary care: a series of systematic reviews', the report has been compiled by researchers from the University's Centre for Academic Primary Care who looked at evidence from studies around the world. They found that patients who saw the same GP every time they attended their GP surgery were less likely to require emergency care.

The research, published in the open access journal BMJ Open, was carried out in collaboration with the Universities of Manchester, Oxford and UCL.

Other factors that also affect admission and attendances at emergency departments are: how easy it is for patients to access GP surgeries and primary care providers; the distance the patients live away from the emergency department; and the number of confusing options patients had for accessing emergency care.

Dr Alyson Huntley, Research Fellow at the University of Bristol and lead author of the report, said: "A recent report by the King's Fund suggested that admissions among people with long-term conditions that could have been managed in primary care cost the NHS 1.42 billion per year. This could be reduced by up to 18 per cent through investment in primary and community-based services.

"Our work has shown that providing continuity of care and making it easier for patients to get access to their GP can help achieve this reduction in unplanned admissions and emergency department attendance."

The report recommends that, for patients in high-risk group, there should be a targeted increase in continuity of care with GPs. These include older patients, those from poorer backgrounds and those suffering from multiple conditions.<
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Contact: Philippa Walker
philippa.walker@bristol.ac.uk
44-117-928-8086
University of Bristol
Source:Eurekalert

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