We work closely with analysts in NHS England, DHSC, Care Quality Commission and Public Health England, among others, to provide the data needed to monitor policy initiatives to improve care for patients.
The current annual GP Census provides ministers, the DHSC, outside bodies and the wider public with information on GPs, the services they provide and the staff they employ. This information is used to monitor and develop policies in primary care, in GP workforce planning and GP payments. Data from the census is also used to inform negotiations with the British Medical Association and other health associated bodies, for GMS expenditure forecasting and by the Doctors and Dentists Review Body in recommending pay awards.
The data extracted by us directly impacts the payments received by individual GPs and can be a powerful lever to influence their practice.
Researchers can also access primary care data directly from providers and commissioners. The Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CRPD) support has led to over 2,000 publications including, for example, the proof of safety of the MMR vaccination. The Evidence Based Medicine Datalab enables providers and commissioners to more easily identify unwarranted variation. Despite successes and the enormous potential of such research, the data has been underused.
Possible data flows from primary care through to research are summarised here: