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Br J Gen Pract. Aug 1991; 41(349): 315–319.
PMCID: PMC1371752

Factors influencing waiting times and consultation times in general practice.


Using data collected from 85 general practitioners in Lothian, large variations were found in the time patients wait for and spend with their doctor. This study, which sets consultations into their administrative framework, examines factors which cause this variation. Consultation time was found to be affected by the total number of patients attending a particular surgery, while waiting time was found to be affected by an individual patient's place within that surgery queue. Taking these two results together suggests that patients seen at the end of large surgeries are likely to get a different service from their doctor than they would have done earlier in the session, or when attending a less busy surgery. Possible strategies are discussed for reducing average waiting times, thereby decreasing the relative cost of consultation to patients.

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Selected References

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Articles from The British Journal of General Practice are provided here courtesy of Royal College of General Practitioners


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