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Lack of use for advice by parents results in increasing attendance to the paediatric emergency department
  1. S Tadros1,
  2. D Wallis2,
  3. M Sharland3
  1. 1
    Paediatric Emergency Department, Royal London Hospital, London, UK
  2. 2
    Paediatric Emergency Department, St George's Hospital, London, UK
  3. 3
    Paediatric Infectious Diseases, St George's Hospital, London, UK
  1. Shereen Tadros, Paediatric Emergency Department, Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel Road, London E1 1BB, UK; shereen_tadros{at}doctors.net.uk

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There is a national trend1 of increasing paediatric emergency department (PED) attendances by children. The causes for this are unclear and may be attributable to a number of factors, such as changes in work patterns in primary care.2 A prospective questionnaire of children presenting to the PED in Edinburgh with minor illness found that 77% had taken advice and 48% had contacted a general practitioner (GP) prior to attendance.3 Our impression was that this was not reflected in our very diverse population in Tooting, with a 27.6% ethnic minority background as reported at the 2001 census.

Methods

We designed a questionnaire asking parents bringing children to the PED, structured questions …

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