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General Practitioners

Department of Health written question – answered on 15th March 2016.

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Photo of Charlotte Leslie Charlotte Leslie Conservative, Bristol North West

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment he has made of the cost to small GP practices of providing data they are required to provide to the Government.

Photo of Alistair Burt Alistair Burt The Minister of State, Department of Health

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.

NHS England recognises the considerable workload challenges facing all practices. The Making Time in General Practice study:

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.

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