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a people chain imageOctober 19 2017

The number of people registered with GP practices in England rose to 58,719,921 patients as at October 1, up 113,149 in a month.

Snapshot data published by NHS Digital notes that there were 2,676,312 more registered patients on October 1 2017 compared to the 56,272,105 on October 1 2013.

In addition:

  • in October 2013, the largest proportion of practices (22.8%) had between 2,000 and 3,999 registered patients;
  • in October 2017, the largest proportion of practices (19.5%) had between 4,000 and 5,999 registered patients;
  • the total number of registered patients have risen (56,272,105 to 58,719,921) whilst the number of practices have fallen (8,032 to 7,358).

Commenting on the statistical release, Dr Richard Vautrey, BMA GP committee chair, said: “Whilst 2.6 million additional patients have registered with GP practices in the last four years, the funding and staffing levels provided by the government to GP practices have simply not kept pace with this rising demand.

“Not only are GPs treating more people than ever before, the complexity of problems they have to deal with has increased as people live longer with more long-term conditions. This is creating a climate where GP services are struggling to cope with unsustainable workload and deliver the care their local communities need.

“A recent BMA survey found that more than half of GP practices were considering closing their patient lists as they could no longer provide safe care to the public. GP practices urgently need funding that matches the understandable demand from patients.”

Registered patient figures appear to be at odds with population estimates put out by the Office for National Statistics. In June 2017, the ONS estimated that the population for England in mid-2016 was 55,268,100.

Links:
NHS Digital announcement        
NHS Digital ‘Patients registered at a GP practice October 2017; Special Topic - Practice list size comparison’                  
BMA comment  
ONS ‘Statistical bulletin: Population Estimates for UK, England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland: mid-2016’                  

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