Aims To use geographic information system mapping software to locate where patients referred for oral surgery services at the Birmingham Dental Hospital and referring clinicians to this centre are located in the Birmingham area.
Methods 3,512 consecutive referrals from 1 April to 30 June 2013 were analysed according to postcode and mapped using the specialised software Maptitude.
Results Patients were largely coming from certain pockets of the city. These included the north and east of the city, which correlated with deprivation scores. Referring clinicians were more uniformly spread across the city.
Conclusion The mapping of patient postcodes can provide healthcare commissioners with valuable information on where to target dental services according to where the patients reside. This information can be of use in managed clinical networks (MCNs) as a tool in healthcare planning and resource allocation.
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The authors thank Prof Thomas Dietrich, Dr Praveen Sharma and Mrs Anne Smith for their help and assistance during this project.