Impact of UK Primary Care Policy Reforms on Short-Stay Unplanned Hospital Admissions for Children With Primary Care-Sensitive Conditions

Elizabeth Cecil, Alex Bottle, Mike Sharland, Sonia Saxena

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27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

<h4>Purpose</h4>We aimed to assess the impact of UK primary care policy reforms implemented in April 2004 on potentially avoidable unplanned short-stay hospital admissions for children with primary care-sensitive conditions.<h4>Methods</h4>We conducted an interrupted time series analysis of hospital admissions for all children aged younger than 15 years in England between April 2000 and March 2012 using data from National Health Service public hospitals in England. The main outcomes were annual short-stay (<2-day) unplanned hospital admission rates for primary care-sensitive infectious and chronic conditions.<h4>Results</h4>There were 7.8 million unplanned admissions over the study period. More than one-half (4,144,729 of 7,831,633) were short-stay admissions for potentially avoidable infectious and chronic conditions. The primary care policy reforms of April 2004 were associated with an 8% increase in short-stay admission rates for chronic conditions, equivalent to 8,500 additional admissions, above the 3% annual increasing trend. Policy reforms were not associated with an increase in short-stay admission rates for infectious illness, which were increasing by 5% annually before April 2004. The proportion of primary care-referred admissions was falling before the reforms, and there were further sharp reductions in 2004.<h4>Conclusions</h4>The introduction of primary care policy reforms coincided with an increase in short-stay admission rates for children with primary care-sensitive chronic conditions, and with more children being admitted through emergency departments. Short-stay admission rates for primary care-sensitive infectious illness increased more steadily and could be related to lowered thresholds for hospital admission.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)214—220
JournalANNALS OF FAMILY MEDICINE
Volume13
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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