The average population size among pathfinder commissioning consortia remains large, but there are three single-practice groups among those announced today.

The average population size of pathfinder GP consortia, following the announcement of the second batch today, is 206,789 - which if replicated nationally would mean England would be covered by about 250 consortia.

The average population in the second wave is about 175,000 people - bringing down the average size from the first wave of about 245,000. The figures suggest there will be many fewer consortia in total nationally than earlier predictions of 500 or more.

However, very small consortia are well represented in the second wave. There are three consortia made up of a single practice: East Cliff Practice in Ramsgate, with a population of 14,000; Whitstable Practice, with a 32,000 population; and South Elmsall and Rycroft Consortium, in Wakefield, covering 21,000 people.

It suggests no informal minimum size is being used and there is a varied pattern of consortia nationally.

Meanwhile, all regions have now approved a large number of pathfinders and have substantial coverage. The West Midlands, which had only 12.5 per cent of its population covered by pathfinders in the first wave, now has nearly 30 per cent.

In Yorkshire and The Humber - which had just 9.3 per cent coverage in December - there is now 60 per cent.

All pathfinder consortia

 Number of pathfinder consortiaTotal pop coveredProportion of region pop coveredAverage consortia populationAverage practices per consortia
East Midlands81,640,00037.9%205,00031
East of England122,2702,4940.5%189,187
North East51,424,50455.7%284,901
North West173,704,03853.7%217,885
South Central122,804,29866.3%233,692
South East Coast202,536,00059.7%126,800
South West255,289,714
West Midlands101,573,78829.3%157,37924
Yorkshire and the Humber173,411,50066%200,67627
England average   206,78930

*NHS South West said DH figures show the population size covered by pathfinders in the region as larger than that of the region’s total GP registered population, because some pathfinders overlap. The real proportion of its population covered is about 90 per cent, the SHA said.

Waves one and two

 Total consortiaAverage practices per consortiaAverage population per consortia
Wave one pathfinders52246,42636
Wave two pathfinders89173,67824