Convenience, quality and choice: Patient and service-provider perspectives for treating primary care complaints in urgent care settings

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Aim: To investigate why patients chose to attend two, nurse-led, minor injury units (MIUs) to access primary healthcare services rather than attend their GP practice.

Background: Since the 1980's, healthcare organisations in the UK and elsewhere have implemented an increasingly consumer-orientated model of healthcare provision. As a result, patients with non-urgent presentations are attending Emergency Departments (EDs) and other urgent care facilities in growing numbers.

Methods: A comparative case study approach was adopted and between October 2014 and May 2015 the researcher was embedded as a participant observer as part of the emergency nurse practitioner team at two, nurse-led, MIUs (site A and B). During this time, 40 patients, 17 service-providers and 1 senior manager were interviewed.

Results: Patients and service-providers at both sites identified convenience and quality of care as the principle reasons patients presented for primary healthcare services at MIUs rather than their GP practice. Service-providers were aware that by providing treatment, they established a precedent and a sense of expectation for future care.

Conclusion: Patients are acting rationally and predictably in response to healthcare policy promises regarding choice, expectation created by service-providers, and local demographic factors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-50
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Emergency Nursing
Volume35
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017

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