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Quarter of hospital emergency visits are due to inability to get appointments, study finds

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: (Published 30 June 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g4332
  1. Matthew Limb
  1. 1London

Nearly six million attendances at hospital emergency departments in England occur each year because patients cannot get a GP appointment, new research has found. Researchers at Imperial College London said that the figure represented 26.5% of unplanned emergency department attendances.

They said that, although a significant number of emergency attendances in England each year could be linked to patients’ access to general practice, it did not necessarily follow that improving this access would reduce emergency department attendances, adding that more research was needed. The analysis was funded by the National Institute for Health Research and published …

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