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At the heart of general practice since 1960

Wales heads for disastrous GP shortage

The GPC is battling to ensure a planned national spreadsheet of quality scores includes information that puts practices' performance into context.

Patients will be able to download every GP practice's quality scores from the internet in August under plans by the Health and Social Care Information Centre.

The centre, which is co-

ordinating the release of English results, has said that the raw data will be set in context but has only promised to include the practice's location.

GPC chair Dr Hamish Meldrum said information about staff shortages and disease prevalence was vital.

He said: 'They must be presented in a way that attaches real meaning to the figures, otherwise they will be open to misinterpretation.'

The information will be available for download in

Microsoft Excel spreadsheet format from www.ic.nhs.uk, although not all data will be released nationally.

GPs can now reject requests for QOF information made under the Freedom of Information Act because the data will be published in future.

New guidance from the GPC released this week also warned practices not to obstruct the release of data by the HSCIC, saying that such moves would be 'detrimental to the profession'.

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