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General Practitioners

Volume 487: debated on Monday 26 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information (a) his Department and (b) NHS agencies collect on the number of patients not registered with a GP. (249507)

The Department collects figures on the numbers of patients registered with general practitioner (GP) practices. Information on the number of patients not registered with a GP is derived from periodic survey of the population as no data are collected routinely on those people who are not registered with a GP.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much the GP patient survey has cost in each year since its inception; how much it is costing this year; how many surveys were sent out in each year and how many responses were received; if he will list the new (a) questions and (b) answer options which were added this year; and who chooses the questions. (249785)

Budgets for the GP patient survey project were £11 million in 2006-07, £10 million in 2007-08 and £8 million for 2008-09. It is not appropriate to provide costs paid to the survey provider, Ipsos Mori, as that is commercially sensitive information.

The number of surveys issued to patients in each year and the number of responses received are provided in the following table.

GP patient survey

Number sent out

Number of responses



5.2 million

2.3 million

Hospital Choice

2.0 million




4.9 million

2.0 million

Hospital Choice

2.0 million




5.7 million


1 Not yet available.

A sample copy of the 2008-09 questionnaire has been placed in the Library. All questions and answers listed here are new with the exception of key demographic questions 37, 38, 39, 44, 46 and 47.

Questions have been developed and chosen through a systematic review process undertaken by a Joint Review Group comprising independent primary care research experts, independent survey experts and officials from the Department. This process also included engagement with a range of stakeholder representatives.