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One in a Million - one year on

23 May 2017

Using the unique archive of video-recorded GP−patient consultations

It is one year since researchers at the University of Bristol’s Centre for Academic Primary Care (CAPC) launched a unique collection of 300 video-recorded GP-patient consultations for research and education purposes.

The ‘One in a Million’ database – so called because there are around one million GP consultations in England every day – is the first of its kind in the UK. It was created with funding from the National Institute for Health Research School for Primary Care Research (NIHR SPCR).

The creation of the database is described in detail in an article published recently in the British Journal of General Practice.

So far there have been over 70 expressions of interest in using the database from researchers in the UK and beyond. Current successfully funded research projects include a PhD study of lifestyle advice given to patients by GPs, an ESRC-funded study of how GPs and patients discuss mental distress, a clinician-led project on GP safety-netting practices funded by the Elizabeth Blackwell Institute, and a comparative study of age and identity in UK and New Zealand health care interactions.

The top five problems discussed in the consultations were musculoskeletal, psychological, digestive, respiratory and skin.

As well as the video-recorded consultations and basic anonymised transcripts, the database holds linked patient record entries and survey data collected from the participating practices, GPs, and patients – all of whom gave their permission for their data to be archived for reuse subject to strict controls.

Dr Rebecca Barnes, Senior Research Fellow at CAPC, said: “Opportunities for academic researchers to work with high-quality GP consultation datasets are few and far between. The recordings held in the archive will support a wide range of health communications-related research. Ultimately, it is our hope that greater understanding of the content and conduct of these consultations, will help improve both process and outcomes in primary care.”

The archive is also aimed at educationalists interested in the development of medical or research training materials, for example for GP consultation skills teaching or for training in methodological techniques for analysing communication in primary care.

Bona fide researchers interested in using the archive can apply for access via the University of Bristol’s Research Data Repository.

Further information

For more information about the archive, please visit or contact the One in a Million team at

Watch the One in a Million video on YouTube.

About the Centre for Academic Primary Care

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR): improving the health and wealth of the nation through research.

Established by the Department of Health, the NIHR:

  • funds high quality research to improve health
  • trains and supports health researchers
  • provides world-class research facilities
  • works with the life sciences industry and charities to benefit all
  • involves patients and the public at every step

For further information, visit the NIHR website

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