General practice funding underpins the persistence of the inverse care law

Gary McLean, Bruce Guthrie, Stewart W. Mercer, Graham C. M. Watt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Universal access to health care, as provided in the NHS, does not ensure that patients' needs are met.AIM: To explore the relationships between multimorbidity, general practice funding, and workload by deprivation in a national healthcare system.DESIGN AND SETTING: Cross-sectional study using routine data from 956 general practices in Scotland.METHOD: Estimated numbers of patients with multimorbidity, estimated numbers of consultations per 1000 patients, and payments to practices per patient are presented and analysed by deprivation decile at practice level.RESULTS: Levels of multimorbidity rose with practice deprivation. Practices in the most deprived decile had 38% more patients with multimorbidity compared with the least deprived (222.8 per 1000 patients versus 161.1; P
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e799-e805
JournalBritish Journal of General Practice
Issue number641
Publication statusPublished - 29 Nov 2015


  • consultation rates
  • funding
  • general practice
  • inverse care law
  • multimorbidity


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