Catalogue description General Medical Practitioners' Workload Survey 1992-1993: Dataset

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Details of JA 9
Reference: JA 9
Title: General Medical Practitioners' Workload Survey 1992-1993: Dataset

The General Medical Practitioners' (GMP) Workload Survey was jointly managed by the Department of Health and the British Medical Association. The survey was overseen by a project executive board and a technical steering group made up of representatives from the Department of Health and the BMA. The operation of the survey was divided into four distinct phases:

1. Selection of the survey sample.

2. Development of a Control System for tracking the GPs through their participation in the survey.

3. Recording and validating the data received from the survey respondents.

4. Analysis of the data and publication of the findings.

The survey involved a sample of 4000 GPs completing a survey of their activities over a given week during the year that the survey was being carried out. It was the intention that approximately 80 GPs would be asked to participate in the survey each week during the lifetime of the survey (November 1992 to November 1993). The survey was carried out in this way in order to take account of seasonal fluctuations in the work patterns of GPs. The Department of Health and the British Medical Association expected a return rate of 60-65% but overall just over 50% of the sample participated. The outcome of the survey was reported to the Doctors' and Dentists' Review Body (DDRB) in two stages; interim results based on the first 7-8 months of the survey were submitted to the DDRB in late 1993 and were incorporated into their recommendations on GP's pay for 1994/95. The full results were made available for the following year's pay round.

Each respondent of the GMP workload survey was asked to complete a three part survey form. The first part of the survey was a diary sheet in which the survey respondents were required to record how their time was spent during the survey week under five broad headings: surgery, home visits, clinics, other professional activities and other. The data received corresponding to this part of the survey comprises the two tables 'General Medical Practitioners' Diary - Final Results' and 'General Medical Practitioners' Diary - Early Estimates'. The second and third parts of the survey which correspond to the tables"General Medical Practitioners' Details - Final Results" and"General Medical Practitioners' Details - Early Estimates" recorded general information about the GP's practice, its activities and staff.

The datasets in this series are available to download. Links to individual datasets can be found at piece level.

Date: 1992-1993

Hardware: Originally held by the Department of Health on networked PCs.

Operating System: Windows XP

Application Software: The dataset transferred to NDAD was received in comma separated format having been exported from Oracle version 9i. Information provided by the Department of Health and the closure report on Phase 3 (validation and data input) indicates that the data was originally input to a system called ABADAS Natural. The control system used to manage the issue and tracking of survey forms was developed in Paradox.

Logical structure and schema: The 1992-93 GMP Workload Survey dataset comprises four tables. Two contain data used to compile the interim findings of the survey and cover the first seven to eight months of its operation from the start on 30 November 1992. The remaining two tables contain the full survey covering its year of operation from 30 November 1992 - 29 November 1993. The survey gathered data in three parts, diary sheets in which the GPs logged their activities in half hour intervals through the week in which they participated in the survey, general information about the practice and details of staff employed by the practice. Two tables (gms_1993_diary and gms_1994_diary) contain the data gathered from the diary sheets and two contain practice and staffing details (GMS_DETAIL_1993 and GMS_DETAIL_1994).

How data was originally captured and validated: The survey sample was drawn from the bi-annual census of GPs taken on 1 April 1992. It was stratified according to the number of hours contracted to work, partnership list size and age of the GP. A supplementary sample of approximately 750 was selected to top up the main sample in cases where doctors chosen for the main sample were found to have left general practice by the time of their survey week. Survey forms were sent out to the GPs around six weeks before the first day of their survey week. On receipt of the forms they were asked to return an acceptance form indicating their willingness to participate in the survey. If the acceptance form was not returned the survey unit contacted individual GPs by telephone to ask them to participate. A reminder letter was sent out one week before the survey week. It was intended that the forms be returned a week after the survey week. The Survey unit would again follow up with a reminder phone call if the forms were not received after two weeks. Once the forms were received by the survey unit manual validation checks were carried out before the forms were despatched to be keyed in to survey database.

Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Former reference in The National Archives: CRDA/63
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English

Department of Health, 1988-

Physical description: 2 datasets and documentation
Restrictions on use: The General Medical Practitioners' (GMP) Workload Survey dataset and its related documentation are open apart from certain fields containing personal details. Under Section 40 of the Freedom of Information Act, these fields will remain closed for 30 years (opening in 2024). Subject to Crown Copyright. Registered under the Data Protection Act.
Access conditions: Open unless otherwise stated
Immediate source of acquisition:

In 2010 the United Kingdom National Digital Archive of Datasets

Custodial history: Originally transferred from Department of Health in 2004. The United Kingdom National Digital Archive of Datasets (NDAD) then held the dataset until 2010 when it was transferred to The National Archives (TNA).
Selection and destruction information: The survey was selected in its entirety. Surveys from 1985-86 and 1989-90 do not survive.
Accruals: Further accruals are not expected.
Publication note:

The final analysis of the survey was published as General Medical Practitioners Survey 1992-93 Final Analysis, joint evidence to the Doctors' and Dentists' Review body from the Health Departments and General Medical Services Committee (GMSC) (November 1994).

Unpublished finding aids:

Extent of documentation: 25 documents, Dates of creation of documentation: 1992-1994

Administrative / biographical background:

The 1992/93 General Medical Practitioners (GMP) Workload Survey was the third in a series commissioned by the Doctors' and Dentists' Review Body (DDRB) to assist in the process of reviewing General Practitioners' (GP) annual salary increases. The first survey took place between July 1985 and July 1986 and the second between April 1989 and April 1990; the results of the earlier surveys were published but the survey data was not retained by the Department of Health. The 1992/93 workload survey was commissioned by the DDRB with the aim of determining whether significant changes had occurred in the general pattern of GP workload since the introduction of new GP contracts in 1990. By carrying out the survey it was hoped to compare the 1989-90 and 1992-93 surveys to test the hypothesis that since the introduction of the new contract there had been a significant increase in hours worked which had already been matched by increased remuneration.

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