Sharp rise in GP practices with more than 30,000 patients

The proportion of GP practices in England with more than 30,000 patients has increased by more than 40% over the past year, as list sizes in general practice continue to grow at pace.

Large GP practices on the rise (Photo: iStock.com/Marbury)
Large GP practices on the rise (Photo: iStock.com/Marbury)

On 1 October 2018, 47 GP practices in England had a list size of 30,000 or more - compared with just 33 a year earlier, figures from NHS Digital reveal.

One in 11 GP practices in England now have a practice list size in excess of 15,000 patients, analysis of the latest figures by GPonline reveals. Meanwhile, the number of practices with fewer than 6,000 patients has dropped by more than 300 over the past year.

One of the practices that has pushed past the 30,000-patient barrier over the past year is the Lillie Road Medical Centre in south-west London - the practice where patients register for the controversial GP at Hand service. The service has seen its patient list swell from 4,564 patients in October 2017 to 33,720 in October 2018 as thousands of mainly young patients joined - making it the 34th largest practice in the country.

GPonline revealed earlier this year that the proportion of GP practices in England with fewer than 3,000 patients had dropped from around one in five in 2007 to one in 10 by 2017. Analysis by this website also found that GP practices in this category score significantly higher in patient satisfaction polls than practices with more than 15,000 patients.

The largest list size reported in the latest practice list size figures was 72,632 at the Princess Street Group Practice in south-east London. The practice also had the largest list a year ago - but has seen its patient population increase by more than 11,000 since October 2017.

There are now 7,055 GP practices in England in total, with an average list size of 8,420, up from 7,985 in October 2017 - representing a 5.4% increase in 12 months.

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