HMI Health have obtained some data on patient lists for the years 2008-2011 which provides a good starting point for their investigating issues around patient lists. However, there’s something missing:
The data needs treating with caution, because there is a lot of context to be added.
How well maintained the list is is just one factor (as illustrated by the statistics in Pulse’s report), and the health of the local population (which is influenced by various demographics) are just two aspects which can make a big difference.
So you’ll need some local knowledge and some old-fashioned shoe leather to, for example, stand outside surgeries asking patients about their experiences of trying to get appointments.
HMI Health are hoping hyperlocals can help with adding some much-needed context to flesh out the data and create local stories. Paul Bradshaw says:
The obvious story is X surgery has 5 times more patients per GP than Y surgery, but with local knowledge it’s possible to go beyond the bare stats to find out whether patients do indeed experience more trouble getting an appointment at some surgeries than others.
There are other variables as well of course, such as how up to date the list is and the health of the local population, which is influenced by various demographics – you may already have an idea of this and the surgeries might be able give a quote on it too.
For those interested interrogating the data, there is also GP surgery-level data on demographics and other contextual information on the NHS IC Indicators site as an additional resource. Carl Plant has also added Quality Outcomes Framework (QOF) data, which provides extra context on the prevalence of particular conditions in each surgery’s population, as well as other data such as age distribution. You can find the combined Google spreadsheet here, or the same data in Fusion Tables here.
If you have any questions or need help with interrogating the data for leads, get in touch with Help Me Investigate Health.