Letters

Cross sectional study of social variation in use of an out of hours patient transport service

BMJ 1999; 318 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.318.7183.566 (Published 27 February 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:566
  1. Catherine AO Donnell, lecturer (kate.odonnell@udcf.gla.ac.uk)a,
  2. Alex McConnachie, statistician,a,
  3. Katrina Moffat, clinical research fellow,a,
  4. Neil Drummond,, senior research fellow,b,
  5. Philip Wilson, senior clinical research fellowa,
  6. Sue Ross,, lecturera
  1. aDepartment of General Practice, University of Glasgow, Woodside Health Centre, Glasgow G20 7LR
  2. bPublic Health Research Unit, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8RZ
  1. Correspondence to: Dr C O'Donnell, Department of General Practice, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 0RR
  • Accepted 23 October 1998

Out of hours primary care has undergone radical reorganisation in recent years, with increasing numbers of general practitioner cooperatives operating from primary care emergency centres.1 A major issue continues to be equity of access, particularly in areas of socioeconomic deprivation where demand is high but access to transport is poor. 2 3 In Glasgow, 52% of the population reside in areas of deprivation (Carstairs and Morris deprivation categories 6or 7).4

The Glasgow Emergency Medical Service was established in February 1996: it covers around 950000patients and 95% of the city's 219general practices, and operates from six centres across the city. The service offers free transport for patients between their homes and the centres.

Subjects, methods, and results

We collected data on all patient contacts with the emergency service over one week in October 1996(n=3193). The socioeconomic category of the patients was derived from their postcode sector of residence (depcats 1and 2,affluent; 3-5,intermediate; 6 and 7,deprived).4 Time of first contact with the service was categorised as evening …

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