After hours medical care and personal safety needs of urban general practitioners

Dr Malcolm Ireland, Dr Jon Adams, Dr Parker Magin

This study examines the issue of personal safety in relation to urban general practice and explores the strategies for dealing with aggression and violence and alternative methods for the provision of after hours medical services.

This qualitative study will be conducted in two stages.

Stage one will include focus groups involving approximately 60 GPs. The focus groups will provide qualitative data addressing personal experiences of violence. This data will be used to develop a questionnaire aimed at providing a thorough analysis of the incidence of aggression and violence in urban general practice.

Stage two of the study will involve using the questionnaire to collect both qualitative and quantitative data from a sample of 1000 GPs.

The recommendations from this study have the potential to influence policies for the provision of after hours primary care as well as for training and education of GPs. The recommendations may also be used to provide guidelines to urban GPs regarding maintenance of personal safety and provision of safe working environments for co-workers.