A quick look at headlines in England paints a bleak, and at times confusing and conflicting, picture of the state of A&E use. But less is mentioned in the news about A&E/GP alternatives, except when sites close or are put in special measures. It is also unclear whether and how patients are using A&E/GP alternatives.
To address these uncertainties, we surveyed 1,500 consumers from across England about how they used primary, urgent, and emergency care in the last 12 months. We wanted to answer three questions:
• What’s driving A&E use?
• What makes patients opt for A&E/GP alternatives?
• What would make patients choose alternative care sites over A&E or their GP?