Predicting appointment numbers in general practice based on characteristics of the registered population - pilot study

Principal investigator(s)Co-InvestigatorPhD student or Research Fellow(s)Project title
Dr Kate Sidaway-Lee

Professor Krasimira Tsaneva-Atanasova, Associate Professor Philip H Evans, Professor Sir Denis Pereira Gray

Dr Margaritis Voliotis, Dr Hossein Mohammadi        

Predicting appointment numbers in general practice based on characteristics of the registered population - pilot study

 

Lay summary:

General practices/ local doctors’ surgeries are currently under enormous pressure and have been for some time. On average, people see or speak to their GP or practice nurse around 5 times per year. However, numbers of appointments per year (including telephone appointments) are very different for people of different ages and genders. For example, young women see their doctor more than men of the same age and old people see their doctor more than young adults.

At the moment, most general practices do not use any kind of mathematical system, based on the patients registered with them, to predict the number of appointments they should provide. We want to use the information we have collected about appointments together with the mathematical abilities of researchers at the University of Exeter to produce a system for making these kinds of prediction. Information that could identify an individual patient will not leave the practice.

If general practices could predict appointment numbers in this way it would help them to make better management decisions on new-patient registrations, recruitment, rotas and the appointment system. It could also help the government and the NHS decide how much money practices should get, based on their registered population.

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