Medical Practice

B.M.A. Planning Unit Survey of General Practice 1969

Br Med J 1971; 4 doi: (Published 27 November 1971) Cite this as: Br Med J 1971;4:535
  1. Donald Irvine,
  2. Margot Jeffreys


    A postal survey of 776 principals representative of general practice in Britain is described. Doctors working in health centres are compared both with colleagues in other group practices and with doctors who have no group practice allowance. Young doctors are mainly in group practice, especially health centres; the proportion of doctors who are not in groups is diminishing steadily, and they are mainly older. With some notable exceptions health centres provide most space, equipment, and staff; group practitioners in privately-owned premises spend more of their money on their practices, more often use appointment systems, and tend to make more efficient use of premises and staff. Overall, however, the picture is still one of general practice geared to the needs of practitioners working alone. Premises with space for sophisticated organization and for future teaching needs are unusual.

    Scotland, the North of England, and Wales have fewer young doctors. Average lists are higher in the North of England, and less money is invested in practice premises.

    Young doctors look for modern premises and the tools and staff for the job. If their career expectations are to be met the tremendous improvements made in some practices must be extended rapidly to the remainder.

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