Research Article

Relation between night visit rates and deprivation measures in one general practice.

BMJ 1993; 306 doi: (Published 22 May 1993) Cite this as: BMJ 1993;306:1383
  1. R D Carlisle,
  2. S P Johnstone,
  3. J C Pearson
  1. Department of Public Medicine, North Nottinghamshire Health Authority, Ransom Hospital.


    OBJECTIVE--To compare night visit rates in different electoral wards of one general practice with the Jarman and Townsend deprivation scores and unemployment rates. DESIGN--Analysis of computerised workload data. SETTING--General practice in centre of Mansfield, Nottinghamshire. OUTCOME MEASURE--Visits made in 588 nights to the 11,998 patients on the practice list. RESULTS--Night visit rates in 15 electoral wards varied from 19.6 to 55.3 visits per 1000 patients per year. The rates showed a significant association with the Townsend score (p = 0.004) and the unemployment rate (p = 0.03) but not with the Jarman score (p = 0.3). The Townsend score explained 49% of the variability; unemployment explained 31% and the Jarman score explained 9%. CONCLUSIONS--Even in a general practice not eligible for deprivation payments there was a 2.8-fold variation in night visit rates between wards. In this practice the Townsend score was significantly better at predicting night visit rates than the Jarman score. This method of looking at internal variation in workloads in computerised practices could give more direct data on the relation between deprivation and general practice workload than has previously been available.