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GP Appointment Data (GPAD)

We are very aware that practices may well be concerned about the publication of the GP Appointment Data at practice level, that is, from 24th November 2022 onwards, to be made available to the public and hence the media.

Your LMC and the BMA are equally concerned about the fragility of this data and discussions are taking place about how this might be perceived.

A BMA press release published 24th November 2022 emphasises that the data makes alarming reading, in that although there are nearly 1900 fewer full time fully qualified GPs since September 2015, the number of face-to-face appointments is going up and many GPs are also continuing to offer remote consultations to make sure patients can still get the care they need, in a way that suits them.

They go on to say “These figures, which show the highest level of GP appointments on record, demonstrate how busy practices are, especially on top of the dramatic increase in seasonal vaccination appointments – but there’s a limit to what general practice can safely deliver with such a depleted workforce. There is variation between practices in the data released, with many factors giving rise to such, including local demographics and patient choice. The BMA say “None of these nuances are taken into account in today’s data and rather than this being a useful tool to aid patient choice, it is really no more than a way to ‘name and shame’ practices when the morale of dedicated staff is at rock bottom. “Ultimately, such data should be used to support, not punish practices”

The BMA raised concerns about the accuracy of the data, and its potential use, and NHS Digital agreed that further work is required.

Practices may wish to take a look in advance at the data for their practice, for awareness of what they may be asked about. This can be done via smartcard access – details can be found at GP Appointments Data Dashboard - NHS Digital

Practices may wish to have a statement prepared in advance in case you are challenged in any way on the data published for your practice.

Here are some pointers to consider including but not limited to: -

You might like to consider using the checklist we produced to gather practice access data information for CQC.
You might wish to use the iceberg graphic to help demonstrate this – it can be found with other resources on our webpage

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Updated on Tuesday, 29 November 2022 357 views