Rise in emergency department attendances not caused by changes to GP contractBMJ 2013; 346 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f989 (Published 26 February 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f989
- Matthew John Dunn, consultant emergency physician1
Benger links the rise in emergency department attendances to the 2003 General Practitioner Contract.1 2 However, GPs were not able to opt out of out of hours care until 1 April 2004 and could not do so without an accredited scheme being in place until 31 December 2004 (most practices continued to provide out of hours care for most of this time). If this had been responsible it would be expected to have produced a rise in attendances in 2004-05, with a further rise in 2005-06, whereas the largest rise was between 2002-03 and 2003-04 (before this part of the contract was implemented). The figures do not support the hypothesis that the change to the contract was the cause of the rise in attendances.
Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f989
Competing interests: None declared.