Data for the NHS Payments to General Practice series of Official Statistics are taken from the National Health Applications and Infrastructure Services (NHAIS) system and NHS England and NHS Improvement’s Integrated Single Finance Environment (ISFE). In April 2013, ISFE was integrated with NHAIS and enabled more detailed information on payments to GP Practices to be collected and analysed. Data for years before this integration took place, i.e. prior to 2013/14, are not available.
The majority of the data is taken from NHAIS, a cash-based operational system in which data is signed off at the end of each quarter and financial year by the local Primary Care Support England (PCSE) office on behalf of NHS England and NHS Improvement Region Local Offices. GP practices and the other providers of general practice services included in this report should use their PCSE contact for any queries on the figures in the first instance. NHAIS produces an annual statement each April which is available to practices wishing to check their payments.
ISFE records the practice-level payments made by NHS England and NHS Improvement and CCGs. Payments data from ISFE was first included in the report in 2016 and covered payments made for Local Enhanced Services (LES) – now called Local Incentive Schemes (LIS) – only. Since 2016/17, all invoices raised through the ISFE payables ledger have been extracted and included in the report to provide a more complete account of NHS payments to general practices. Although the inclusion of these ISFE data improves the completeness and coverage of the data, there will nonetheless be other payments made to practices, for example by Local Authority Public Health bodies, that are outside these two systems so other potential sources of NHS payments data will continue to be investigated.
These detailed ISFE data are not available for financial years prior to 2016/17 and users are advised not to make comparisons with payments for previous years.
NHS Digital seeks to minimise inaccuracies and the effect of missing and invalid data but responsibility for data accuracy lies with the organisations providing the data i.e. PCSE offices and NHS England and NHS Improvement. Methods for data capture are continually being updated to improve data quality. However, payments made in error may occur and, if so, may be included within the data.
Along with payment data, practice and population information is extracted from NHAIS. However, some practices received no payments via NHAIS but have payments recorded in ISFE only so are not included in the NHAIS data extract. Where possible, contextual information relating to these practices and their populations has been taken from reference data but there remains a small number of practices with unknown values for some fields such as contract type, dispensing status and number of registered and weighted patients.