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Patients: Surveys

Volume 490: debated on Monday 23 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the cost of the latest GP patient survey is; and how much of that cost relates to writing to patients who had already answered, asking them to participate. (265289)

[holding answer 20 March 2009]: The budget for the GP patient survey during 2008-09 is £8 million, a reduction of 20 per cent. on the 2007-08 costs. It is inevitable that with a survey of 5.7 million patients there will be a degree of crossover in the post of completed surveys with reminders. The number of items posted for each wave of the 2008-09 survey was:

5 January: 5,660,236;

9 February: 4,698,854; and

9 March: 3,496,282.

The postage cost of each individual letter works out at 28 pence per letter and it is estimated that due to the printing lead time of the reminders 200,000 questionnaires may have crossed in the post between completion and receipt of the reminders.