Release notes

2014 QOF data

The data for 2013/14 is now on the site. It proved a bit of a challenge this year as, for the first time, there were material differences between the QOF in the four countries. Many of these differences were around the areas of thresholds and timings although the gaps have widened in 2014/15 so need to be tackled.

I had to bite the bullet and have some sort of policy about this and how to present the data. For precision each indicator is reported at practice level as they have been published by the four countries. Indicators particular to Scotland have the (S) suffix, Wales uses the W suffix and Northern Irish indicators end NI. England has no suffix - the assumption seems to be that the other nations have opted out of the English QOF. Not all indicators have an equivalent in each country.

One of the strengths of this site has always been that fact that data from all four countries can be compared. I was quite keen that this could continued. In any case the indicators are often quite similar. We are not so much comparing apples and oranges but rather Cox's and Braeburn apples (again possibly a rather pointless comparison as Cox's knock Braeburns out of the park every time in my view but it will do as analogy).

The site has grouped similar indicators as they have changed over time. If you click on the calendar icon you may see several similar indicators being used over time. This is a rough approximation but pretty effective. I have used the same sort of grouping to compare indicators between countries. The figures for the UK are based on this grouping and use indicators without a suffix where there is an English equivalent.

This does mean that the centile figures are largely confined to each country (where there are country specific indicators) but remain UK wide where the indicators are the same across the UK. This mostly is the case in disease prevalence.

Currently there is a bug which means that practices outside England do not compare properly with the UK figures. I will correct this over the next few days.

Welsh Practice Groupings

The data for Wales was published with small practice grouping and I have taken these onto the site. The systems is pretty good at arbitrary hierarchies so manages these fairly easily. There is not much detail about these groupings other than names and I have made up some custom codes for them.

Depression Prevalence

For the last couple of years the depression prevalence figure has been based on the number of patients who had received a diagnosis after the first of April 2006. Prior to that it was based on the number of patients who had received a diagnosis ever. This caused a bit of a jump in the figures and this did stand out last year. There was also some muddle in the figures last year.

This prevalence was in the figures as "DEP PREV 2". I have changed this to reflect the new rules to "DEP PREV 3" although these two are linked and the historical trend will appear between them. I will tidy up last years figures to the same in the next couple of days.


Some of these decisions may not be what you would have done. All of the figures will be available for download in about a week. These will be as CSV files and an MS Access file. With ten years of figures they are getting quite big now (the main database is now over a gigabyte of disk space). In particular the Access database tends to be quite large and I am open to suggestions about how to make this easier. Microsoft's solution seems to be a Sharepoint server but I don't have one of those. If you are a seller of MS Sharepoint or even if you are Microsoft and you want to show off your wares by distributing a large database please do get in touch!

Many thanks for your patience.

Putting your Friends and Family Test on line

The Friends and Family test has been part of the GP contract since Monday. The mainstay of this for many practices is likely to be a paper based system in the waiting room.

Using an online form has advantages which complement a paper based system. It is much easier for patients to use if they are at home and calling the surgery or dealing with a repeat prescription for example.

Setting up an online form can seem daunting but is actually quite simple and, even better, can be done for free. I have used Google Docs and the video below shows you how to set it up. It is unedited so the whole process takes less than the five minute running time of the video. Of course publicising the link will take a little longer but once the form is set up it should last for a good long time.

I would use the "full screen" icon underneath the video otherwise you won't be able to see much!