Who uses the 'after hours GP helpline'? A profile of users of an after-hours primary care helpline

McKenzie, R, Williamson, M and Roberts, R 2016, 'Who uses the 'after hours GP helpline'? A profile of users of an after-hours primary care helpline', Australian Family Physician, vol. 45, no. 5, pp. 313-318.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Who uses the 'after hours GP helpline'? A profile of users of an after-hours primary care helpline
Author(s) McKenzie, R
Williamson, M
Roberts, R
Year 2016
Journal name Australian Family Physician
Volume number 45
Issue number 5
Start page 313
End page 318
Total pages 6
Publisher Royal Australian College of General Practitioners
Abstract Background The 'after hours GP helpline' was added to the existing 24-hour nurse triage and advice lines in Australia in July 2011. Its objective is to improve access to GP advice in the after-hours period. Objective The objective of this study was to describe the user profile of an after-hours primary care helpline during its first two years of operation, including age, gender, location and relative socioeconomic advantage of users. Method The study undertook a retrospective review and descriptive analysis of the use and user characteristics during a two-year period in 2011-13. Results The service handled more than 300,000 calls in the study period. It was well used by parents of young children, women, those living in remote areas and those who identified as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander. Older people and rural residents were proportionally lower users of the service. All socioeconomic rankings were represented, with highest call rates in less advantaged areas. Discussion Targeted promotion may assist high-need groups to benefit from after-hours telephone-based primary care advice when face-toface GP services are unavailable.
Subject Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified
Copyright notice © The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners 2016.
ISSN 0300-8495
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