The effect of a new general practice out-of-hours co-operative on a county hospital accident and emergency department

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Abstract

Background

The Southdoc GP co-operative was introduced to north County Cork in August 2005. The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of this co-op on the attenders at the A + E department in the local county hospital at Mallow.

Methods

All out-of-hours attenders during 3 months of the winter prior to the introduction of Southdoc were analysed and compared to the out-of-hours attenders for the corresponding period the following winter, after the co-op was introduced. The attenders were classed as necessary or unnecessary using the ‘process of care' tool. The two groups were also analysed for the number of attenders who were fully discharged after having a normal X-ray as their only investigation, as well as the number of admissions and transfers to other hospitals, and also the number of non-surgical paediatric attenders.

Results

No statistically significant difference was found between the two groups for any parameters analysed.

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