Pregnancy-related telephone consultations to an out-of-hours provider: a retrospective study
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Pregnancy-related telephone consultations to an out-of-hours provider: a retrospective study

Melanie Haith-Cooper Lecturer, Bradford University
Tomasina Stacey Consultant midwife/research fellow, Bradford University
Elaine Edwards Nurse director, Shropshire Doctors Co-operative, Shrewsbury
Gill Clements Medical director, Shropshire Doctors Co-operative, Shrewsbury
Mohammed A Mohammed Professor of healthcare, Bradford University

Melanie Haith-Cooper and colleagues report on the results of a study to determine the reasons women contacted the service and at which stage of pregnancy, and to compare and contrast how nurse practitioners and GPs handled these calls

Pregnant women generally have 24-hour access to advice from maternity services; they can also contact out-of-hours (OOH) services, but the nature of this contact is poorly understood. The aim of the study was to describe the characteristics of pregnancy-related telephone consultation calls to an OOH service to compare the differences between the way calls were handled by GPs and nurse practitioners (NPs).

The authors analysed 2,022 telephone pregnancy-related consultations made between January and December 2011 to an NHS OOH primary care service provider; 102 GPs and 36 NPs were involved.

The mean length of consultation differed depending on clinician type: GPs were more likely to provide advice only, while NPs were more likely to recommend a base visit.

Most consultations related to the first trimester of pregnancy, a time when women do not generally have access to maternity services. Later in pregnancy, women access OOH services when they could be accessing maternity services directly. GPs and NPs handle calls differently; it is unclear whether this affects clinical outcome.

Primary Health Care. 25, 2, 24-29. doi: 10.7748/phc.25.2.24.e936


Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 11 June 2014

Accepted: 11 August 2014