The aim of the publication is to inform users about activity and usage of GP appointments historically and how primary care is impacted by seasonal pressures, such as winter.
NHS Digital publishes this information to support winter preparedness and provide information about some activity within primary care. The publication covers historic appointments, marked as attended or did not attend, from national to CCG coverage. The aim is to inform users, who range from a healthcare professional to an inquiring citizen, about appointments within primary care.
The publication includes data from participating practices using EMIS, TPP, MICROTEST and VISION GP systems.
NHS Digital produce this information monthly, containing information about the most recent month and previous months.
The publication includes important information, however it does not show the totality of GP activity/workload. The data presented only contains information which was captured on the GP practice systems. This limits the activity reported on and does not represent all work happening within a primary care setting or assess the complexity of activity.
No patient identifiable information has been collected or is included in this release.
Impact of Coronavirus
There are no national standards for data entry into GP systems which are not primarily designed for data analysis purposes. The outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) has led to unprecedented changes in the work and behaviour of General Practices and subsequently the GP appointments data within this publication. The variation in approach to appointment management between practices is likely to be greater than usual during the Coronavirus outbreak and as a result data quality will be impacted. These quality issues impose limitations on what can be inferred from this data and as such they should continue to be considered as experimental statistics. Please see the 'Appointments in General Practice - April 2020: Summary' document below for further information.