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Data quality checks on GP practice patient lists

Patient list data quality checks are carried out to reduce the number of patients incorrectly registered with GP practices. The checks ensure that details held on PDS/Spine are accurate. There are many reasons to ensure practice lists are current and accurate; it helps to ensure that patients are included in relevant screening programmes and ensures that practices are paid correctly for the number of registered patients they have.

The data quality checks are managed by the Primary Care Support England (PCSE) Registrations team on behalf of NHS England.

The process checks the following six groups:

  • Patients aged over 100
  • Patients that migrated to England 12 months ago (Transient)
  • Patients registered at an educational facility for four or more years (Students)
  • Patients aged under 16 showing as the sole occupier of a property (Orphans)
  • Properties the Royal Mail report as demolished (Demolished Properties)
  • Properties with eight or more registered inhabitants (Multiple Occupancy)

 

PCSE compile a separate patient list for each group and send these to either the GP or a letter to the patient directly requesting that the registration details are confirmed. Upon the return of information, PCSE will either:

  • add a note to the patient record to say that the details are correct for example reg confirmed, whereabout known, seen recently
  • process the patient deduction sent via GP links (if confirmed they have moved away or become deceased), or
  • apply an FP69 marker (which will result in the patient deducted in 6 months’ time unless an update to the patient details or a new registration is received in that time).

 

PCSE is required to carry out routine data quality checks on the patient details it maintains.  The request contains details of patients our records show are registered with your practice. Your practice is required to confirm whether or not the details held are accurate. The guidance supplied will help you to complete the information requested. It is important that your practice responds in order to ensure that eligible patients can be contacted for routine screening, and that payments based on patient registration data are accurate.

A ten day period is provided to all GP practices to review the patient data and complete all associated actions, including any required patient deductions. The reason why there is a 10 day limit is that data becomes out of date and so any changes need to be applied quickly.

Once all actions are complete for this patient list data quality check, the PCSE team will make further contact with your practice again to request confirmation of patient registration data for other cohorts of patients. This is in line with the NHS England policy.

If PCSE does not receive a completed spreadsheet, an FP69 flag will be applied to any patients concerned. Notification of these flags will be received through GP links onto your clinical system. The setting of the FP69 flag will give the practice six months to confirm the registration status. To confirm the registration status the practice should add a note to the patient record such as ‘address confirmed’ or ‘seen recently' through GP links. Alternatively, the practice can provide an updated address before the patient is removed from the practice list. If no action is taken this could result in patients being excluded from routine screening programmes.

An FP69 is a flag that is set on a patient’s registration record when it is believed they no longer live at the registered address.  When the flag is set, a message is sent electronically to the GP practice advising them that the details may be incorrect, and asking them to provide a new address, or to confirm if the patient is still living at the address held.  GP practices should be contacting patients to establish whether or not they have moved or should be removed from the register.  If no response is received from the patient or the GP practice, the patient will be removed from the practice list of patients six months later.

NHS England guidance on the policy for managing patient lists can be accessed in part B, chapter three of the NHS England Primary Medical Care Policy and Guidance manual (PGM) available here.

PCSE is notified of demolished properties on a quarterly basis by Royal mail and a FP69 flag has been set because it is believed that the patient no longer lives at the registered address.