Research Article

Survey of equipment in general practice.

BMJ 1989; 299 doi: (Published 12 August 1989) Cite this as: BMJ 1989;299:435
  1. N. Bradley,
  2. S. Watkins
  1. Surgery, Alphington, Exeter.


    Partners in general practice have to buy any equipment they want themselves. As a result partners in high investing practices have lower net incomes. Of the 297 practices in Devon and Cornwall, 265 responded to a questionnaire listing 115 possible items of practice equipment. Overall, practices seemed to be fairly well equipped. Key findings were that 193 of those who responded had an electrocardiograph, 206 had a kit for minor operations, 119 owned a computer, and less than one third owned a microscope. Most of these practices were high investors. There seems to be a shift away from some traditional instruments towards expensive information technology. Government policies are encouraging the use of computers and such equipment, though funds are not necessarily being made available for this purpose.