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BMJ. 1997 May 3; 314(7090): 1337–1341.
PMCID: PMC2126579

What will a primary care led NHS mean for GP workload? The problem of the lack of an evidence base.


Ongoing negotiations on the general practitioner contract raise the question of remunerating general practitioners for increased workload resulting from the shift from secondary to primary care. A review of the literature shows that there is little evidence on whether a shift of services from secondary to primary care is responsible for general practitioners' increased workload, and scope for making generalisations is limited. The implication is that general practitioners have little more than anecdotal evidence to support their claims of greatly increased workloads, and there is insufficient evidence to make informed decisions about remunerating general practitioners for the extra work resulting from the changes. Lack of evidence does not, however, mean that there is no problem with workload. It will be increasingly important to identify mechanisms for ensuring that resources follow workload.

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