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Timely access to primary care reduces A&E visits

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Patients with timely access to general practice appointments make fewer visits to A&E

Researchers from Imperial College London related A&E attendance in England to a national survey of patients' experience of GP practices in 2010-11 They found practices whose patients reported timely access to appointments had lower rates of A&E visits.

The rate of A&E visits for the fifth of practices with the best access was 10.2 per cent lower than the fifth of practices with the worst access. If the bottom fifth had performed as well as the top fifth, the researchers estimate this would have resulted in 111,739 fewer A&E visits for the year.

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