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VOLUME 53 | NUMBER 3 | JUNE 2018


Spatial Accessibility of Primary Care in England: A CrossSectional Study Using a Floating Catchment Area Method

Objective: To analyze the general practitioners (GPs) with regard to the degree of urbanization, social deprivation, general health, and disability.

Data Sources: Small area population data and GP practice data in England.

Study Design: We used a floating catchment area method to measure spatial GP accessibility with regard to the degree of urbanization, social deprivation, general health, and disability.

Data Collection: Data were collected from the Office for National Statistics and the general practice census and analyzed using a geographic information system.

Principal Findings: In all, 25.8 percent of the population in England lived in areas with a significant low GP accessibility (mean zscore: −4.2); 27.6 percent lived in areas with a significant high GP accessibility (mean zscore: 7.7); 97.8 percent of high GP accessibility areas represented urban areas, and 31.1 percent of low GP accessibility areas represented rural areas (correlation of accessibility and urbanity: r = 0.59; p<.001). Furthermore, a minor negative correlation with social deprivation was present (r = −0.19; p<.001). Results were confirmed by a multivariate analysis.

Conclusion: This study showed substantially differing GP accessibility throughout England. However, socially deprived areas did not have poorer spatial access to GPs.

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