ObjectivesGeneral practitioner (GP) follow-up after a hospital admission is an important indicator of integrated care. We examined the characteristics of patients who saw a GP within 2 weeks of hospital discharge in the Central and Eastern Sydney (CES) region, Australia, and the relationship between GP follow-up and subsequent hospitalisation. MethodsThis data linkage study used a cohort of 10240 people from the 45 and Up Study who resided in CES and experienced an overnight hospitalisation in the 5 years following recruitment (2007–14). Characteristics of participants who saw a GP within 2 weeks of discharge were compared with those who did not using generalised linear models. Time to subsequent hospitalisation was compared for the two groups using Cox proportional hazards regression models stratified by prior frequency of GP use. ResultsWithin 2 weeks of discharge, 64.3% participants saw a GP. Seeing a GP within 2 weeks of discharge was associated with lower rates of rehospitalisation for infrequent GP users (i.e. <8 visits in year before the index hospitalisation; hazard ratio (HR) 0.83; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.70–0.97) but not frequent GP users (i.e. ≥8 plus visits; HR 1.02; 95% CI 0.90–1.17). ConclusionThe effect of seeing a GP on subsequent hospitalisation was protective but differed depending on patient care needs. What is known about the topic?There is general consensus among healthcare providers that primary care is a significant source of ongoing health care provision. What does this paper add?This study explored the relationship between GP follow-up after an uncomplicated hospitalisation and its effect on rehospitalisation. What are the implications for practitioners?Discharge planning and the transfer of care from hospital to GP through discharge arrangements have substantial benefits for both patients and the health system.