The announcement of the third tranche of “pathfinder” GP consortia takes the proportion of the English population covered to just over two thirds.

The 43 new pathfinders confirm GPs are forming groups in a wide range of shapes and sizes.

They include Newquay Commissioning Consortium, with three practices and a 28,000 population, and East and North Hertfordshire GP Commissioning Consortium, which includes 50 practices with a 464,000 population.

The average consortium population size in the third wave is 170,000, and the average for all pathfinders is 190,000.

If the pattern was repeated nationally - and the size of consortia remained the same - there would ultimately be around 270 across England.

The Department of Health said a “small number” of previously announced pathfinders had already merged, but did not confirm which ones.

There is some regional variation in pathfinder take-up.

In the South West, the whole population is now covered, whereas in the West Midlands coverage is 40 per cent.

Health secretary Andrew Lansley said in a statement: “This is a truly bottom-up response, as demonstrated by the varying shape and size of the GP pathfinder groups. The speed of uptake is also highly encouraging.”

The government was due to announce the third tranche of pathfinder GP consortia yesterday, taking the proportion of the English population covered to just over two thirds.

Read third wave consortia full list

Pathfinders by region

Region% of total pop covered by pathfinders  Average no practices per pathfinderAverage population of pathfinders
East Midlands69.126
186,897
East of England60.724
189,078
London73.936223,659
North East55.7
41
284,901
North West66.9
30

184,391
South Central66.2
29

240,845
South East Coast63.4
16

128,143
South West100
28

204,578
West Midlands39.9
24

153,009
Yorkshire and the Humber66.326
180,195

 

Pathfinders by wave

 Average practices per consortiaAverage population per consortia
Wave 136246,000
Wave 224168,000
Wave 324170,000
All pathfinders27190,000

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