The total count of registered patients recorded in this release for the 2018/19 financial year – calculated by summing the quarterly average patients at each practice where patient numbers are known - is 60,824,330, which is 0.36% higher than the published total of 59,607,191 at 1 January 2019. This higher figure will include some double-counted individuals, but it is not possible to quantify the scale of this issue. This means, however, that the average payment per registered patient at CCG, region and England level should be treated with caution as there is some uncertainty around the counts of patients used in the denominator.
In 2018/19, the patient counts used to provide context in terms of practice size and in calculations of average payments per patient are the average of the quarterly counts of registered and weighted patients at each practice.
In previous reports, the patient counts were the most recently available figure and were taken at the end of quarters four, three, two or one as applicable. For more details of this methodological change, please refer to the accompanying document.
As a result of this methodological change, comparisons should not be made between the 2018/19 figures and those for previous years. However, to provide context, the England-level average payments per registered and weighted patient for 2017/18 and 2016/17 are presented in the Comparison with previous years section.