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Gp Lists

Volume 409: debated on Friday 18 July 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will estimate the average list size of GPs in England; what his Department sets as the (a) optimum and (b) maximum list size for a GP; and if he will make a statement. [126738]

Data on the number of general practitioners and patients is published annually. The latest edition, "Statistics for General/Medical Practitioners in England: 1992–2002", is available at

These data show that on 30 September 2002 the average lists size was 1,838, or slightly more than half of the permitted maximum.

For GPs providing general medical services, the maximum list size is normally 3,500 but a GP may have up to 2,000 additional patients if he or she employs another GP-qualified doctor as an assistant.

The optimum list size will vary from practice to practice, reflecting local demographic and socio-economic factors, accessibility and patient choice among many other factors.

The average list size continues to fall, and is 4 per cent, lower in 2002 than it was in 1992.