Patterns in acute referral to hospital

J S Duffield, K Craig, W D Plant
Scottish Medical Journal 1997, 42 (4): 105-7
This retrospective observational study aimed to assess factors affecting acute referral and subsequent admission to hospital by general practitioners. Data concerning 2,303 consecutive acute referrals to hospital from all GPs in a defined study area were collected over one month. Fund holding practices cared for 13% of the population referred 13% of all referrals resulting in 14% of admissions. Referral through the A&E resulted in significantly more patients being discharged upon initial assessment (p < 0.001). A telephone call accompanying referral dramatically increased the chance of hospital admission (p < 0.001). Referral to hospital was more likely the more socially deprived the patient (p < 0.001) but had no subsequent bearing on admission.

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