Recorded consultations for children under 5 have increased considerably in general practice

BMJ 1996; 313 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.313.7068.1334 (Published 23 November 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:1334
  1. Alan R Del Mar
  1. General practitioner Ashdown Forest Health Centre, Forest Row, Sussex RH18 5AQ

    EDITOR,—Suspecting that parents' concerns about the health of their children might be a reliable indicator of public expectations of the NHS and demands on it, I went through the medical records of the first five years of life of all patients registered with the practice who were born in 1947, 1950, 1960, 1970, 1980, and 1990 and noted the number of general practice consultations for each child. I discounted all incomplete medical records and consultations for immunisations and, more recently, for child health surveillance.

    I found that there has been a sharp increase in the recorded number of consultations for children in the first five years of life (table 1). This could, of course, reflect an increasing awareness by family doctors of the importance of keeping proper medical records. It could also, however, indicate a lamentable reluctance by parents to initiate home remedies before seeking medical advice.

    Table 1

    Number of consultations recorded in general practice records for children in first five years of life

    View this table:
    View Abstract

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