Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Creating a general practice data set: new role for Northumberland Local Medical Committee.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1987; 295 doi: (Published 24 October 1987) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1987;295:1029
  1. A Hutchinson,
  2. P Mitford,
  3. M Aylett
  1. Lintonville Medical Group, Ashington, Northumberland.


    As a first step in planning primary care services for a whole district, the Northumberland Local Medical Committee undertook a postal survey of all 51 practices in the county. Questionnaires were returned by 154 doctors (95%). Information was collected from every practice on doctors' qualifications and postgraduate training, aspects of professional commitments in addition to patient care, professional appointments outside the practice, and clinical services being offered by the practice. A wide range of clinical services was reported. In general, preventive services in singlehanded practices were provided within normal consulting sessions while the larger practices offered many special sessions and a multidisciplinary approach. In addition to establishing baseline information for planning primary care initiatives, this first exercise provided valuable experience in data collection and management. Having shown that such a role is feasible, the experience will be used to expand the information and planning activities of the committee.