This paper presents the results of a report commissioned by The Information Centre on behalf of the Office of National Statistics (ONS) and Department of Health (DH) using QResearch methodology.
Both the Department of Health and the Office of National Statistics have adopted the QRESEARCH methodology for estimating primary care consultations in their respective output and productivity calculations. By using actual data from 4m patients the QRESEARCH methodology is seen as more representative of GP consultations than survey data from the previously used General Household Survey. DH first used the data in its 2005/6 cost efficiency estimate to measure progress against its value for money Public Service Agreement (PSA) target. ONS first used the new data in Blue Book 2007 which presents data on UK national accounts.
Complete data were available for 100 practices (846,000 patients) in 1995 and for 464 practices (3.9 million registered patients) in 2006. The mean list size per practice in QRESEARCH in 2006 was 8419.
Comparisons with the General Household Survey showed similar trends in crude rates by age and sex but the rates in QRESEARCH were lower than those from the General Household Survey. The General Household survey is a patient survey data based on recall of consultations in the last 2 weeks whereas QRESEARCH measures consultations recorded on the GP clinical computer systems.
You may also be interested in our GP Workload Survey report.