Estimating the burden of minor ailment consultations in general practices and emergency departments through retrospective review of routine data in North East Scotland

Shona Fielding, Terry Porteous, James Ferguson, Vivienne Maskrey, Annie Blyth, Vibhu Paudyal, Garry Barton, Richard Holland, Christine M Bond, Margaret C Watson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Background. Minor ailment attendances in general practices and emergency departments (EDs) place significant burden on health care resources.
Objectives. To estimate the prevalence and type of minor ailment consultations for adults in general practice and ED that could be managed in a community pharmacy.
Methods. Retrospective review of routine data from general practices (n = 2) and one ED in North East Scotland. Two independent consensus panels assessed each consultation summary to determine whether it represented a minor ailment. Outcomes included prevalence of consultations for minor ailments in general practice and ED and frequency of different minor ailment type that
could be managed in community pharmacies.
Results. In total, of the 494 general practice and 550 ED consultations assessed, 13.2% [95% confidence interval (CI): 18.6–25.9%] and 5.3% (95% CI: 4.0–8.0%), respectively, were categorized as minor ailments suitable for management in community pharmacies. Consensus among panel members was moderate for general practice consultations, but fair to poor for ED consultations. Agreement between uni- and multi-disciplinary panels was good. Applied
to national data, these estimates would equate to ~18 million general practice and 650 0000 ED consultations that could be redirected to community pharmacy, equating to ~£1.1 billion in resources.
Conclusion. Minor ailment consultations still present a major burden on higher cost settings. Effective strategies are needed to raise awareness among patients and health professionals regarding conditions that can be managed effectively in pharmacies and to change patient healthseeking behaviour for such conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-172
Number of pages8
JournalFamily Practice
Volume32
Issue number2
Early online date5 Mar 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2015

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Scotland
General Practice
Hospital Emergency Service
Referral and Consultation
Pharmacies
Confidence Intervals
Health Resources
Delivery of Health Care
Costs and Cost Analysis
Health

Keywords

  • community pharmacy services
  • consensus
  • emergency departments
  • general practice

Cite this

Estimating the burden of minor ailment consultations in general practices and emergency departments through retrospective review of routine data in North East Scotland. / Fielding, Shona; Porteous, Terry; Ferguson, James; Maskrey, Vivienne; Blyth, Annie; Paudyal, Vibhu; Barton, Garry; Holland, Richard; Bond, Christine M; Watson, Margaret C.

In: Family Practice, Vol. 32, No. 2, 04.2015, p. 165-172.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Fielding, Shona ; Porteous, Terry ; Ferguson, James ; Maskrey, Vivienne ; Blyth, Annie ; Paudyal, Vibhu ; Barton, Garry ; Holland, Richard ; Bond, Christine M ; Watson, Margaret C. / Estimating the burden of minor ailment consultations in general practices and emergency departments through retrospective review of routine data in North East Scotland. In: Family Practice. 2015 ; Vol. 32, No. 2. pp. 165-172.
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abstract = "Background. Minor ailment attendances in general practices and emergency departments (EDs) place significant burden on health care resources.Objectives. To estimate the prevalence and type of minor ailment consultations for adults in general practice and ED that could be managed in a community pharmacy.Methods. Retrospective review of routine data from general practices (n = 2) and one ED in North East Scotland. Two independent consensus panels assessed each consultation summary to determine whether it represented a minor ailment. Outcomes included prevalence of consultations for minor ailments in general practice and ED and frequency of different minor ailment type thatcould be managed in community pharmacies.Results. In total, of the 494 general practice and 550 ED consultations assessed, 13.2{\%} [95{\%} confidence interval (CI): 18.6–25.9{\%}] and 5.3{\%} (95{\%} CI: 4.0–8.0{\%}), respectively, were categorized as minor ailments suitable for management in community pharmacies. Consensus among panel members was moderate for general practice consultations, but fair to poor for ED consultations. Agreement between uni- and multi-disciplinary panels was good. Appliedto national data, these estimates would equate to ~18 million general practice and 650 0000 ED consultations that could be redirected to community pharmacy, equating to ~£1.1 billion in resources.Conclusion. Minor ailment consultations still present a major burden on higher cost settings. Effective strategies are needed to raise awareness among patients and health professionals regarding conditions that can be managed effectively in pharmacies and to change patient healthseeking behaviour for such conditions.",
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AU - Fielding, Shona

AU - Porteous, Terry

AU - Ferguson, James

AU - Maskrey, Vivienne

AU - Blyth, Annie

AU - Paudyal, Vibhu

AU - Barton, Garry

AU - Holland, Richard

AU - Bond, Christine M

AU - Watson, Margaret C

N1 - Acknowledgements We thank the patients, health professionals and other NHS staff who contributed to this programme of research; members of the consensus panels and the advisory group; members of the PPRT Steering Group; PRUK for funding this research.

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N2 - Background. Minor ailment attendances in general practices and emergency departments (EDs) place significant burden on health care resources.Objectives. To estimate the prevalence and type of minor ailment consultations for adults in general practice and ED that could be managed in a community pharmacy.Methods. Retrospective review of routine data from general practices (n = 2) and one ED in North East Scotland. Two independent consensus panels assessed each consultation summary to determine whether it represented a minor ailment. Outcomes included prevalence of consultations for minor ailments in general practice and ED and frequency of different minor ailment type thatcould be managed in community pharmacies.Results. In total, of the 494 general practice and 550 ED consultations assessed, 13.2% [95% confidence interval (CI): 18.6–25.9%] and 5.3% (95% CI: 4.0–8.0%), respectively, were categorized as minor ailments suitable for management in community pharmacies. Consensus among panel members was moderate for general practice consultations, but fair to poor for ED consultations. Agreement between uni- and multi-disciplinary panels was good. Appliedto national data, these estimates would equate to ~18 million general practice and 650 0000 ED consultations that could be redirected to community pharmacy, equating to ~£1.1 billion in resources.Conclusion. Minor ailment consultations still present a major burden on higher cost settings. Effective strategies are needed to raise awareness among patients and health professionals regarding conditions that can be managed effectively in pharmacies and to change patient healthseeking behaviour for such conditions.

AB - Background. Minor ailment attendances in general practices and emergency departments (EDs) place significant burden on health care resources.Objectives. To estimate the prevalence and type of minor ailment consultations for adults in general practice and ED that could be managed in a community pharmacy.Methods. Retrospective review of routine data from general practices (n = 2) and one ED in North East Scotland. Two independent consensus panels assessed each consultation summary to determine whether it represented a minor ailment. Outcomes included prevalence of consultations for minor ailments in general practice and ED and frequency of different minor ailment type thatcould be managed in community pharmacies.Results. In total, of the 494 general practice and 550 ED consultations assessed, 13.2% [95% confidence interval (CI): 18.6–25.9%] and 5.3% (95% CI: 4.0–8.0%), respectively, were categorized as minor ailments suitable for management in community pharmacies. Consensus among panel members was moderate for general practice consultations, but fair to poor for ED consultations. Agreement between uni- and multi-disciplinary panels was good. Appliedto national data, these estimates would equate to ~18 million general practice and 650 0000 ED consultations that could be redirected to community pharmacy, equating to ~£1.1 billion in resources.Conclusion. Minor ailment consultations still present a major burden on higher cost settings. Effective strategies are needed to raise awareness among patients and health professionals regarding conditions that can be managed effectively in pharmacies and to change patient healthseeking behaviour for such conditions.

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KW - consensus

KW - emergency departments

KW - general practice

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JO - Family Practice

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