GPs and primary care
In the borough of Rochdale, 68.5 per cent of people would recommend their GP, which is slightly below the national average of 72.4 per cent. In addition, 47.8 per cent report a good experience of making an appointment (GP Patient Survey, 2022).
What is the primary care system?
GP surgeries form part of the primary care system which also covers dental practices, community pharmacies and high street optometrists. Around 90 per cent of patient interaction is with the primary care services and they are generally people's first point of contact with the NHS.
GPs and the primary care system deal with a wide range of health problems as well as providing health education, advice, vaccinations, examinations, treatments and referrals to other health services. On average, a year's worth of GP care per patient costs less than 2 Accident and Emergency visits.
The General Practice Forward View aims to provide more convenient access to care, a stronger focus on population health and prevention, more GPs and a wider range of practice staff, operating in more modern buildings and better integrated with community and preventive services, hospital specialists and mental health care (NHS, 2016).
Pharmaceutical services and the Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment
Pharmaceutical services in the borough are assessed using a Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment (PNA) conducted every 3 years. The latest version for Rochdale borough covers the period from 2018 to 2021.
The PNA may be used to inform commissioners such as Integrated Care Systems (ICS) and local authorities of the current provision of pharmaceutical services and where there are any gaps in relation to the local health priorities. Where such gaps are not met by NHS England, these gaps may then be considered by those organisations.
Statistics on primary care
- NHS Digital – General practice data hub - the General Practice Data Hub is a collection of interactive dashboards covering General Practices in England. It contains data on prescribing, fit notes, dentistry, learning disabilities, condition prevalence and screening.
- Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) - National general practice profiles - these profiles are designed to support GPs, ICSs and local authorities to ensure that they are providing and commissioning effective and appropriate healthcare services for their local population. They include data on local demography, quality and qutcomes framework domains, cancer services, child health, antibiotic prescribing and patient satisfaction.
Information and guidance on primary care
- NHS England Publications - the NHS England website includes reports, guidance, policy and strategy documents and case studies on a number of topics including primary care.
- The King's Fund (general practice) - the King's Fund is an independent charity working to improve health and care in England. The site includes blogs, reports, articles and signposts for useful events. This page collates their work on GPs and general practice.