Intended for healthcare professionals

Practice Observed

Narrowing the health gap between a deprived and an endowed community

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1988; 296 doi: (Published 16 January 1988) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1988;296:173
  1. G N Marsh,
  2. D M Channing


    A 15 month campaign by a primary health care team in Stockton on Tees raised the uptake of preventive care of its patients in a severely deprived area to a level generally exceeding that of a more endowed neighbouring community. This was achieved by opportunistic attention after unrelated consultations, writing twice to each household with a list of its outstanding items necessary for preventive care, using health visitors to encourage attendance, and occasionally undertaking preventive care in patients' homes. Extra clerical staff were needed to implement the new recording and monitoring procedures introduced.

    With rigorous monitoring and organisation general practitioners may improve the uptake of preventive health care by their more deprived patients.