Intended for healthcare professionals

General Practice

General practitioners' views about the statutory annual practice report

BMJ 1994; 309 doi: (Published 01 October 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;309:849
  1. M C Record,
  2. J A Spencer,
  3. R H Jones,
  4. K P Jones
  1. Department of Primary Health Care, Medical School, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 4HH
  1. Correspondence to: Dr K P Jones.
  • Accepted 24 August 1994


Objective: To ascertain the views of primary care professionals about the current purpose, uses, potential, and workload implications of the statutory general practice annual report.

Design: Postal questionnaire survey.

Setting: General practices in the Northern region.

Subjects: All practices in the region that were singlehanded, fundholding, non-fundholding and with more than five partners, and a one in three20random sample of all non-fundholding practices (n=318). Results - 263 practices responded (83%). The20report took a median of 12 hours to produce (95% confidence interval 11 to 15 hours; interquartile range 7-35). The main perceived purpose of the report was to monitor practice activity (165 respondents; 63% (95% confidence interval 57% to 69%)), but 44 respondents (17%; 13% to 22%) produced it only because it was contractually required. Practices included statutory and non- statutory data in these20reports and would have liked comparative practice activity information (155 respondents; 59%) and “good ideas” (165 respondents; 63%) fed back to them. Respondents would have liked the annual report used to improve practice development planning (122 respondents; 46% (40% to 52%)), to facilitate audit (115 respondents; 44% (38% to 50%)),20and to influence resource allocation (104 respondents; 40% (34% to 46%)). One hundred and eighteen practices (45%; 39% to 51%) would produce20an annual report even if not contractually required. Data collected were perceived to be already available20elsewhere.

Conclusions: Primary care professionals have20concerns about the current annual report. They20would prefer to collect relevant, standardised data which could lead to better audit, planning, and resource allocation.


    • Accepted 24 August 1994
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