Skip Navigation
Search site

This is our old website. Most information can now be found on our new NHS Digital website. Let us know what you think.

Consultation on the Attribution Data Set GP-Registered Populations

Scaled to ONS Population Estimates

This consultation is now closed.

What is this consultation?

This consultation invites responses on our proposals on the future of the publication of the Attribution Data Set GP-Registered Populations (ADS) by the Health and Social Care Information Centre.

Note: The ADS of registrations will continue to be extracted annually and used by the Department of Health in Resource allocation.


Why are we having this consultation?

This publication contains information about populations registered with GP practices at Strategic Health Authority (SHA) and Primary Care Organisation (PCO) level in five-year age bands by gender, for England and Wales.

The data are collected in April for GP relevant populations and are scaled to the Office for National Statistics mid-year population estimates - based on the Census, excluding some special populations. This reconciliation is carried out as the number of patient registrations is greater than the number of people living in England and Wales according to population estimates from the ONS. There may be a number of reasons for this, e.g. people leaving the country and not notifying their GP.

Download our standard publications here

We are consulting users on changes to the Attribution Data Set and advising on alternative data sources.

Summary of consultation

The ADS is primarily used by the Department of Health in resource allocations and the patient registration data were scaled to match ONS mid-year estimates at a national level. With the move to Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) scaling is no longer being applied in the same way.

This raises the question of the value of processing the data to scale it to ONS mid-year estimates and if it would be of value to users.

The ADS was published by PCO in quinary age bands and by gender using this scaled data. Unscaled GP registered data is already available in other publications:

  • By the NHS Commissioning Board

Data by CCG for the total number of patients by practice

  • By the HSCIC

Patients registered with a GP practice by practice, PCT and SHA by gender and in age bands: 0-4, 5-14, 15-44, 45-64, 65-74, 75-84, 85+.

There are a number of options open to us:

1. Publish PCT registered populations as at April 2012 scaled to ONS data (usual ADS spec).

2. Publish PCT registered populations for as at April 2012 unscaled.

Note: The data for both of the above would be for organisations that existed in April 2012 and they will close at the end of March 2013 making the usefulness of the data questionable.

3. Publish CCG registered populations as at April 2012 (unscaled)

Note: These data would be the same as those published by DH but with age and gender breaks.

4. Suspend publication of the ADS until data requirements for the new organisations and users are more established and consider whether alternative data sources are sufficient to meet users' requirements.

How to respond

Please email your comments on the options above or any other requirements, for this type of data, that you may have.

This consultation process is open to anyone - whether as an individual or representing an organisation. The closing date for the consultation is 30 April.

You are asked to email any comments to with the subject heading clearly stating "ADS Consultation".

Alternatively you can post your comments/suggestions to:

ADS Consultation
Contact Centre
Health and Social Care Information Centre
1 Trevelyan Square, Boar Lane
Leeds LS1 6AE

Please ensure that you include your contact details on any documents you contribute to ensure we can contact you to inform you of the outcome of the review. A summary of the responses received will be made available on our website.

If you have a query regarding completing your response, or would like to discuss any issue in order to respond more constructively, or you require a copy of this consultation paper in any other format, e.g. Braille, Large Font, or Audio, please call 0845 300 6016 (9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday) or email:

Responses: confidentiality and disclaimer

The information you send us may be passed to colleagues within the HSCIC, other government departments or related agencies. Even where confidentiality is requested, if a request for disclosure of the consultation response is made in accordance with the Freedom of Information legislation, and the response is not covered by one of the exemptions in the legislation, the HSCIC may have to disclose the response, in whole or in part.

Close iCM Form