Annual report on GP activity in England

Image of GP taking blood pressure to show GP activity in England

NHS Digital has published its annual report on GP activity in England. It shows the prevalence of 21 conditions and identifies how the prevalence of those conditions has changed since the previous year.

The annual publication, Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) – Prevalence, Achievements and Exceptions Report, England 2017-18 is a robust dataset made up of information voluntarily provided by 94.8 per cent of general practices in England. It is collected through the QOF, which is primarily used to improve the care patients receive by rewarding practices for the quality of care they provide.

Conditions are grouped into seven categories:

  • Cardiovascular
  • Respiratory
  • Lifestyle
  • High dependency and other long term conditions
  • Mental health and neurology
  • Musculoskeletal
  • Fertility, obstetrics and gynaecology.

Prevalence of some conditions is measured as a proportion of the total number of people registered at a surgery, whereas others are age-specific. Prevalence data on these conditions can be broken down sub-nationally to regional and general practice level.

QOF also provides information on the activity of GPs in relation to 25 measures overall – this is expressed as achievement. Achievement scores are used to calculate what payment a general practice should receive according to the services it delivered.

Key facts from the report are:

  • The highest QOF recorded prevalence rates are for hypertension (13.9 per cent), depression (9.9 per cent) and obesity (9.8 per cent).
  • Depression is the condition with the greatest change in QOF recorded prevalence from 2016-17. It increased by 0.9 percentage points.