Aims: To gather information on children with minor illness or injury presenting to a paediatric accident and emergency (A&E) department and the decision making process leading to their attendance.
Methods: Prospective questionnaire based survey of 465 children selected by systematic sampling from A&E attenders allocated to the lowest triage category.
Results: The study population was statistically representative of the total population of A&E attenders. The lower deprivation categories were over represented. Educational attainment, childcare experience, and parental coping skills were important in relation to A&E attendance. More children attended with injury as opposed to illness. There were no significant demographic differences between those children who presented directly to A&E and those who made prior contact with a GP. Just under half the study population had made contact with a general practitioner ( GP) before attending A&E. The majority of those children were directly referred to A&E at that point. GPs referred equivalent numbers of children with illness and injury.
Conclusions: Parents and GPs view paediatric A&E departments as an appropriate place to seek treatment for children with minor illness or injury.
- CONSULTATION PATTERNS
- PATIENT SATISFACTION
- ACUTELY ILL