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Consultation rates, visiting rates and a selection of miscellaneous services were recorded over two weeks in February 1981 by 82 doctors in Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire. The findings are reported here with an emphasis on the variation between individual doctors. Consultations (including visits) were at the rate of 3.27 per patient per year. Undertaking a selection of miscellaneous services for patients is estimated to be equivalent to one third of the doctor's consultation workload. In addition, participating doctors spent an average of 9½ hours in the two weeks undertaking tasks connected with education and health service administration. Time spent in the administration and management of the practice was not included in this study.
The home visiting rate reported in this study was 14 per cent of all consultations and, although a little lower than that reported in the General Household Survey, it is similar to the results from the National Morbidity Survey for 1970 and 71 and also similar to other PAA results.
The material is presented in such a way that it provides an analysis of workload in a large number of practices, and describes a method which doctors can use to measure their own performance and compare it with the overall results.