Research Article

Equity and the NHS: self-reported morbidity, access, and primary care.

Br Med J 1980; 281 doi: (Published 25 October 1980) Cite this as: Br Med J 1980;281:1111
  1. E Collins,
  2. R Klein


    The patterns of access to primary health care for 27 154 people were examined, using the raw data of the 1974 General Household Survey about self-reported morbidity and use of services. Access rates were calculated for four categories of health: the not ill, the acutely sick, the chronically sick without restricted activity, and the chronically sick with restricted activity. Contrary to the conclusions of existing publications, the analysis shows that the NHS has achieved equity in terms of access to primary health care: there is no consistent bias against the lower socioeconomic groups and, in the case of some health care categories, these have proportionately higher rates of access than their rates of self-reported morbidity would indicate. The findings also show large variations in patterns of access both between and within these categories of health.