Inappropriate--the patient or the service?

Accid Emerg Nurs. 1995 Jul;3(3):146-9. doi: 10.1016/s0965-2302(95)80009-3.


The inappropriate use of Accident and Emergency (A & E) departments by the public has been the subject of debate for many years. Patients often attend departments with problems which could equally have been treated by the primary care services in the community. However, despite much research into why patients choose to visit A & E departments rather than their general practitioners, efforts to reverse this trend have generally failed. If the professional view of what is appropriate cannot be enforced, perhaps the label 'inappropriate' belongs to the A & E services rather than the patient.

MeSH terms

  • Emergency Service, Hospital / statistics & numerical data*
  • Family Practice
  • Health Services Misuse*
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Humans
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care*