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Report shows prevalence of conditions across England

NHS Digital must be quoted as the source of these figures

Regional data are available within this report

27 October 2016: Figures released today by NHS Digital1 provide information on the prevalence of 21 conditions2, including heart disease, hypertension, dementia, diabetes, and depression.

The annual report, Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) - Prevalence, Achievements and Exceptions Report, England 2015-16 also identifies how the prevalence of these conditions has changed since the previous year.

Prevalence data on these conditions can be broken down sub-nationally to regional and general practice level.

This robust dataset is made up of information voluntarily provided by 97 per cent of general practices in England. It is collected through the QOF, which is primarily used to improve the care patients receive by rewarding practices for the quality of care they provide.3

Conditions are grouped into categories known as indicator groups, with each group focussing on a particular disease or set of conditions. These are:

  •  Cardiovascular4
  •  Respiratory5
  •  Lifestyle6
  •  High dependency and other long term conditions7
  •  Mental health and neurology8
  •  Musculoskeletal9
  •  Fertility, obstetrics and gynaecology10

Prevalence of some conditions is measured as a proportion of the total number of people registered at a surgery, whereas others are age-specific.

In addition to prevalence, QOF also provides information on the activity of GPs in relation to 25 measures overall - this is expressed as achievement.

Achievement scores are used to calculate what payment a general practice should receive according to the services it delivered.

QOF also provides information on exception reporting. Patients can be 'excepted' for a number of reasons, but usually as a result of a patient or a GP decision at a personal level. This ensures that practices are not inappropriately financially penalised.

Read the full report.


Notes to editors

1. NHS Digital is the national information and technology provider for the health and care system. Our team of information analysis, technology and project management experts create, deliver and manage the crucial digital systems, services, products and standards upon which health and care professionals depend. During the 2015/16 financial year, NHS Digital published 294 statistical reports. Our vision is to harness the power of information and technology to make health and care better. NHS Digital is the new trading name for the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC). We provide 'Information and Technology for better health and care'. Find out more about our role and remit at

2. There are 25 conditions and measures in total; the report has information on the prevalence of 21 of these. These 25 conditions and measures have been selected for the following reasons: where responsibility for ongoing management of the condition rests principally with the GP and the primary care team; where there is good evidence of the health benefits likely to result from improved primary care; and where the disease area is a priority.

3. QOF payments to general practices are calculated from the achievement scores allocated to each indicator. The QOF rewards practices for the provision of 'quality care' and helps to fund further improvements in the delivery of clinical care. This year, the value of a QOF point was £160.15. This figure is subject to adjustment to account for factors specific to each surgery, such as population demographics.

4. The cardiovascular group contains information on:

  •  Atrial fibrillation
  •  Blood pressure
  •  Cardiovascular disease
  •  Coronary heart disease
  •  Heart failure
  •  Hypertension
  •  Peripheral arterial disease
  •  Stroke and transient ischaemic attack

5. The respiratory group contains information on:

  •  Asthma
  •  Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

6. The lifestyle group contains information on:

  •  Obesity
  •  Smoking

7. The high dependency and other long term conditions group contains information on:

  •  Cancer
  •  Chronic kidney disease
  •  Diabetes mellitus
  •  Palliative care

8. The mental health and neurology group contains information on:

  •  Dementia
  •  Depression
  •  Epilepsy
  •  Learning disabilities
  •  Mental health

9. The musculoskeletal group contains information on:

  •  Osteoporosis
  •  Rheumatoid arthritis

10. The fertility, obstetrics and gynaecology group contains information on:

  •  Cervical screening
  •  Contraception

11. For media enquiries or interview requests, please contact or telephone 0300 30 33 888.

Last edited: 4 November 2021 5:28 pm