Previous research has suggested that patterns of help-seeking behaviour are influenced by who the sufferer consults when deciding whether to seek medical care or not. This research has been extended to include episodes of illness and injury where more formal contacts are brought into the consultation process. The results show that the perceived urgency with which medical care is required is influenced by who the person has contact with. Some groups such as the police, bystanders and neighbours and friends may be more likely to suggest that the sufferer should seek medical attention than other consultants. This difference was explained in terms of the social, economic, moral and legal pressures associated with these people's positions.