Deprivation and use of in Emergency Departments


Deprivation is strongly linked to ill health and need for more healthcare. This research examined whether different levels of deprivation in the population explained differences in ED attendance rates. The impact of attendances for less serious complaints (suitable to be seen by a GP) and distance travelled to ED was also considered.

We used routinely collected ED attendance data from a large region in the north of England. Small geographic areas, with around 1500 people in them were analysed measuring deprivation using the index of multiple deprivation. ED attendance rates ranged from 2 to 856 per 1000 population with a mean of 312 (95% CI 308 -315). The proportion of non-urgent attendances ranged from 1.4% to 49.6%, with a mean of 16.8% (95% CI 16.6-17.1). A large proportion of variability was explained by deprivation and proportion of non-urgent attendances. A next step is for targeted interventions to reduce emergency department attendances.


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