Two hundred and twenty eight deprived children were compared with a matched sample of more endowed children living in the same urban area. Both groups were served by the same experienced primary health care team. The deprived group had a significantly higher number of general practitioner consultations and admissions to hospital (aged under 5) and a significantly higher recorded prevalence of mental and psychological disturbance (aged 5-15). Accident and emergency attendances were significantly higher for the deprived group throughout childhood, as were non-attendances for medical care appointments. The deprived group had much worse rates of immunisation and significantly later immunisations; practical measures subsequently adopted to improve this uptake of immunisation are described.