GP surgeries were hard to contact over ChristmasBMJ 1999; 318 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.318.7195.1422b (Published 22 May 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:1422
- Andrew Rouse, Senior lecturer
- Department of Public Health, University of Birmingham, Birmingham BT15 2TT
EDITOR—Accident and emergency departments were overwhelmed with patients during the Christmas period. The health minister, Frank Dobson, believes that a flu epidemic precipitated this problem. A more likely explanation is that the general practice service in England and Wales broke down; people could not contact their general practitioners during the holiday period.
As part of a pharmacological research project, I was involved with a telephone survey of general practitioners. We selected a simple random …