About this release

This release by Public Health Scotland (PHS) presents General Practice (GP) activity data extracted from participating practices across NHS Scotland from January 2018 to January 2024 by NHS board and Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP).

This exploratory work aims to illustrate the type of activity information captured within GP clinical systems. Not all activity is recorded on the clinical systems and information on the complexity or duration of the activity is currently unavailable. Therefore, the activity reported does not represent all the work happening within a primary care setting.

Please note the data contained within this visualisation is not directly comparable to other work on GP activity ongoing in NHS England, or NHS Wales (NWIS), due to differences in methodology of counting and classifying GP activity.

The data remains subject to change and monthly figures and comparisons should be used with caution.

An in-practice dashboard is also available to each practice to allow them to view their activity data down to individual staff member and undertake quality work; guidance documents have also been developed and issued to encourage more uniform recording practice. Engagement with practices is ongoing to investigate and solve data anomalies.  Data quality indicators are being developed to allow better understanding of the data.

Amendments for this publication

During the In-hours activity pilot, an issue was identified for EMIS users that resulted in the recording of blood test results being automatically misclassified as face-to-face activity in the 'Direct' encounter class, rather than administrative activity in the 'Indirect' encounter class. Alongside this a separate issue was identified relating to the processing of EMIS activity data prior to May 2023, which resulted in the double counting of some activity.

Both of these issues have now been corrected in the March 2024 additional of this publication. Due to a large number of practice mergers and closures over the last 18 months there are fluctuations in the revised data compared to the previously published data.R

A visualisation comparing the previously published counts with the corrected counts has been added to this month's publication and a comparison report has also been published detailing the impact of these changes.  

An additional data quality tab has been included to show variations in counts from month to month (alert charts) and highlight unmapped and undefined consultation and health care professional types.

Main points

In January 2024, the total level of activity in the GP practices which returned data was 7.9 million encounters. This is 4.7% higher than the 12-month rolling average activity (Feb. 23 to Jan. 24).

In January 2024, GPs accounted for 51% of the direct activity and other clinicians accounted for 34%.  Of the direct activity, 77% was surgery consultation, and 18% was telephone consultation.

In January 2024, the administration health care profession group accounted for 55% of the indirect activity and other clinicians accounted for 21%.

Further information

Data presented in the visualisation are subject to change.

Where it is identified data are excluded from that months release due to technical issues, these data will be updated the following month.

The next release of this publication will be 30 April 2024.

General enquiries

If you have an enquiry relating to this publication, please contact Mike McCabe at phs.generalpractice@phs.scot.

Media enquiries

If you have a media enquiry relating to this publication, please contact the Communications and Engagement team.

Requesting other formats and reporting issues

If you require publications or documents in other formats, please email phs.otherformats@phs.scot.

To report any issues with a publication, please email phs.generalpublications@phs.scot.

Older versions of this publication

Versions of this publication released before 16 March 2020 may be found on the Data and Intelligence, Health Protection Scotland or Improving Health websites.

Last updated: 02 April 2024
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