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Although no assessment of costs for small practices is completed, annual clearance processes require an assessment of the estimated completion time for practices. In 2015/16 the estimated completion time for data collection requests was one hour and practices confirm completion time to evaluate that estimate and inform future estimates.
Provisional analysis suggested 2015/16 collection took a mean completion time of 49.3 minutes.
www.england.nhs.uk/2015/10/05/gp-appointments was commissioned in order to identify priority areas for reducing burdens on practices. This confirmed that reporting information for getting paid and satisfying regulatory requirements is a significant task for many practices, although practices vary considerably in how difficult they find it.
NHS England has committed not only to increasing investment in general practice but to taking national action to reduce burdens such as these. The uplift in investment provided through the recently agreed contract for 2016/17 is the first of a number of changes intended to support practices and freeing time for staff to spend with patients.