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General Practice

Volume 404: debated on Monday 28 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of the population in England are registered with a GP.[106883]

At 30 September 2001, the latest published data, 51,249,672 people were recorded asregistered with a general practitioner or with a provider of personal medical services in England. However, it is not possible to express this accurately as a percentage of the population because of "list inflation". This arises where a patient moves his or her registration and for a transitional period may be registered on two lists. Similarly, an individual who dies or moves outside England may remain on a list for a time.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the effect of the proposed GP contract on the confidentiality of patient records; and if he will make a statement.[109963]

Everyone working in the national health service, in any capacity, has a contractual obligation to respect and protect patient confidentiality. Clinicians are additionally bound by professional obligations. Nothing in the proposed new contract for general medical services will change this.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on access rights to the contracts containing the terms and conditions of individual GPs.[110002]

The new contract for general medical services negotiated between the General Practitioners Committee of the British Medical Association and the NHS Confederation is now with the profession for their consideration.Under the new contract details of financial transaction between the national health service and practices will remain confidential, but patients will have a new Patient Services Guarantee (by which patients are assured that they will continue to be offered at least the range of services that they currently enjoy), and a Practice Leaflet including the services available and how to obtain them, patients' rights and responsibilities, opening hours and appointments systems and other essential information.