Series / Collection

Appointments in General Practice

Summary

Introduction to Appointments in General Practice, Dr Peter Short (Clinical Lead Primary & Social Care Technology, NHS Digital).

"General Practice, like much of the NHS at present, is under unprecedented pressure for contact and support for patients. Data on activity has historically been collected from discrete workload surveys that are burdensome and limited in scope.

In response to a request from the Secretary of State to support General Practice with more accurate information, NHS Digital have been working with professional representatives, system suppliers and NHS England to collect and collate data from the appointment systems held in General Practice. We will shortly begin publishing the aggregate activity data across England, from practices who are already able to access individual reports from their own systems. This data reflects only the planned and scheduled activity recorded within the appointment systems for much of General Practice across England, but will start to contribute valuable insight into the activity at the front line. We are mindful this data only represents a part of the workload undertaken by General Practice, and does not yet cover all systems and settings. The very flexible nature of appointment modules along with how they are used and configured to meet the differing needs, means that much further work with the profession is needed to improve the utility, consistency and coverage. However we are committed to working with the profession to progress this work to ensure continual refinements that benefit both individual practices and the wider service planning agenda."

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Several publications have been produced previously analysing primary care appointment activity and trends. The resource below compares methods in analysis of the QResearch database in 2008 with the methods for this upcoming publication.

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