Car travel time and accessibility by bus to general practitioner services: A study using patient registers and GIS

Lovett, Andrew ORCID:, Haynes, Robin, Sünnenberg, Gisela and Gale, Susan (2002) Car travel time and accessibility by bus to general practitioner services: A study using patient registers and GIS. Social Science & Medicine, 55 (1). pp. 97-111. ISSN 1873-5347

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Accessibility to general practitioner (GP) surgeries was investigated in a population study of East Anglia (Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk) in the United Kingdom. Information from patient registers was combined with details of general practitioner surgery locations, road network characteristics, bus routes and community transport services, and a geographical information system (GIS) was used to calculate measures of accessibility to surgeries by public and private transport. Outcome measures included car travel times and indicators of the extent to which bus services could be used to visit GP surgeries. These variables were aggregated for wards or parishes and then compared with socio-economic characteristics of the populations living in those areas. The results indicated that only 10% of residents faced a car journey of more than 10min to a GP. Some 13% of the population could not reach general medical services by daily bus. For 5% of the population, the car journey to the nearest surgery was longer than 10min and there was no suitable bus service each weekday. In the remoter rural parishes, the lowest levels of personal mobility and the highest health needs indicators were found in the places with no daytime bus service each weekday and no community transport. The overall extent of accessibility problems and the existence of inverse care law effects in some rural localities have implications for the NHS, which aims to provide an equitable service to people wherever they live. The research also demonstrates the potential of patient registers and GIS as research and planning tools, though the practical difficulties of using these data sources and techniques should not be underestimated.

Item Type: Article
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
University of East Anglia Research Groups/Centres > Theme - ClimateUEA
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Science > Research Centres > Centre for Social and Economic Research on the Global Environment (CSERGE)
Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Resources, Sustainability and Governance (former - to 2018)
Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Environmental Social Sciences
Depositing User: Rosie Cullington
Date Deposited: 25 May 2011 14:01
Last Modified: 23 Oct 2022 20:30
DOI: 10.1016/S0277-9536(01)00212-X

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