Maintaining patient access to GUM clinics: is it compatible with appointments?

Cassell, J. A., Brook, M. G., Mercer, C. H., Murphy, S. and Johnson, A. M. (2003) Maintaining patient access to GUM clinics: is it compatible with appointments? Sexually Transmitted Infections, 79 (1). pp. 11-5. ISSN 1368-4973

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES: To determine whether a planned change from a walk-in service to a system in which 35% of appointments were prebooked and 65% obtained on the day, preserved access to the service for patients with, or at risk of, STIs. To describe patients' attitudes and behaviours in relation to accessing the clinic, and relate these to disease status and other epidemiological factors. To evaluate the effect of the change on clinical outcomes. To develop a tool for evaluating access to services. METHOD: A natural experiment was studied, in which a cohort of patients attending just before the change in appointments policy (phase 1) was compared with a cohort following the change (phase 2). A questionnaire was administered to all new patients, and linked to disaggregated epidemiological and demographic data and case notes. RESULTS: The age, ethnic, symptom status, and disease mix of the clinic did not change significantly, and more patients were seen in phase 2. Time from telephoning to being seen did not change. Under 25s and Afro-Caribbeans used prebooked appointments less than others. Partner notification improved and HIV testing rates increased, while staff preferred the new system. CONCLUSION: This specific appointment system in a GUM clinic preserved access for high risk groups. However, this may not generalise to systems with a higher proportion of prebooked appointments.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Journal Article
Keywords: Adult Ambulatory Care Facilities/organization & administration/ utilization Appointments and Schedules Attitude to Health Female Health Services Accessibility/ organization & administration Health Services Research Humans London Male Questionnaires Sexually Transmitted Diseases/ therapy
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Brighton and Sussex Medical School
Depositing User: Jackie Cassell
Date Deposited: 30 Mar 2007
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2012 10:32
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/1148
Google Scholar:15 Citations
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