FOI 29886



Freedom of Information Disclosure Log

The NHSBSA's responses to Freedom of Information requests. read more


Open Government Licence 2.0 (United Kingdom) [Open Data]

FOI 29886


‘What is the annual number of medications, both acute and repeat, prescribed by GPs in the Northern Lincolnshire Primary Care Network (PCN)? What is the breakdown of the medications prescribed in the 4 networks within the Northern Lincolnshire PCN and how does the Northern Lincolnshire PCN compare to the England PCN average?’

This was clarified with the following questions

‘• For annual do you mean the latest 12 months of data we hold? Currently the latest data we hold is September 2022 therefore this would mean October 2021 to September 2022. - Yes please

• For number of medications do you mean the total number of items prescribed regardless of drug presentation? Items shows the number of times a product appears on a prescription form and not the quantity prescribed. - Yes please

• For both acute and repeat - would you need the information broken down to show acute and repeat prescribing separately? Yes please if possible

• For prescribed by GPs do you mean prescribed by all prescriber types (eg nurses, pharmacists etc) but at GP Practices only or do you mean prescribed by the prescriber type of GP only (ie not nurses, pharmacists etc) at all cost centre types (ie not just GP practices)? - All prescribers but at GP practice only

• on the NHSBSA database – North Lincolnshire North PCN, North Lincolnshire South PCN, North Lincolnshire East PCN and North Lincolnshire West PCN. Therefore we will provide the data for the four individual PCNs. - Thank you

• For What is the breakdown of the medications prescribed in the 4 networks within the Northern Lincolnshire PCN – what do you mean by breakdown of the medications - do you mean you want a breakdown showing the number of items against each different drug presentation? If yes then there will be no need to do bullet point 2 as you will be able to accumulate this data to get the total number of items per PCN. However please note data at drug presentation level may result in low numbers which would mean some data may be suppressed and if that was the case you would not be able to calculate the total number of items from this data. - Accumulation of data will be fine, thank you.’


Accessing CSVs with more than 1 million rows

CSVs with more than 1 million rows can be viewed using add-ons to existing software, such as the Microsoft PowerPivot add-on for Excel, to handle larger data sets. The Microsoft PowerPivot add-on for Excel is available using the link in the 'Related Links' section below.

Once PowerPivot has been installed, to load the large files, please follow the instructions below. Note that it may take at least 20 to 30 minutes to load one monthly file.

  1. Start Excel as normal
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  5. In the Table Import Wizard e.g. scroll to the bottom and select Text File
  6. Browse to the file you want to open and choose the file extension you require e.g. CSV Once the data has been imported you can view it in a spreadsheet.

Within the data, E is being interpreted in Text as Scientific notation, for example 01E00 shown as 1.00E+00

You can fix this as follows:

If you open a new Excel then

  • go to Data – From Text

  • select the csv file you want

– leave format as delimited

– next

– Comma

– next

– highlight the CCG column

  • change to text

  • highlight column with the odd formatting

– change to text

– finish,

ok when the little import box pops up.

This should let you open it without the formatting issues.

NHS Prescription Services process prescriptions for Pharmacy Contractors, Appliance Contractors, Dispensing Doctors and Personal Administration with information then used to make payments to pharmacists and appliance contractors in England for prescriptions dispensed in primary care settings (other arrangements are in place for making payments to Dispensing Doctors and Personal Administration). This involves processing over 1 billion prescription items and payments totalling over £9 billion each year. The information gathered from this process is then used to provide information on costs and trends in prescribing in England and Wales to over 25,000 registered NHS and Department of Health and Social Care users.

Data Source

Information Services Data Warehouse


The Data excludes:

• Items not dispensed, disallowed and those returned to the contractor for further clarification.

• Prescriptions prescribed and dispensed in Prisons, Hospitals and Private prescriptions.

• Items prescribed but not presented for dispensing or not submitted to NHS Prescription Services by the dispenser.

Time Period

The months October 2021 to September 2022 aggregated

Organisation Data

The data provided is for prescriptions prescribed in England in GP practices. It is provided aggregated to Primary Care Network (PCN_ level and includes the PCNs parent Sub Integrated Care Board Location (SICBL) and Integrated Care Board (ICB).

BNF Code

The BNF Code is a 15 digit code in which the first seven digits are allocated according to the categories in the BNF and the last 8 digits represent the medicinal product, form, strength and the link to the generic equivalent product. NHS Prescription Services has created pseudo BNF chapters, which are not published, for items not included in BNF chapters 1 to 15. The majority of such items are dressings and appliances which NHS Prescription Services has classified into four pseudo BNF chapters (20 to 23).

The data is aggregated to BNF Chemical Substance level.


Items shows the number of times a product appears on a prescription form not the quantity prescribed.

Prescription Type

The data is grouped by prescription type which can have one of the following categories

EPS - Acute,

EPS - Repeat Dispensing,

EPS - Repeat Prescribing,

Paper - Acute or Repeat Prescribing,

Paper - Repeat Dispensing.

Please note we cannot segregate acute or repeat prescribing on paper prescriptions.

If you have any queries regarding the data provided, or if you plan on publishing the data, please contact ensuring you quote the above reference. This is important to ensure that the figures are not misunderstood or misrepresented.

If you plan on producing a press or broadcast story based upon the data please contact This is important to ensure that the figures are not misunderstood or misrepresented.

The information supplied to you continues to be protected by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 and is subject to NHSBSA copyright. This information is licenced under the terms of the Open Government Licence detailed at:

Should you wish to re-use the information you must include the following statement: “Information Services Data Warehouse, NHSBSA Copyright 2022” This information is licenced under the terms of the Open Government Licence:

Failure to do so is a breach of the terms of the licence.

Information you receive which is not subject to NHSBSA Copyright continues to be protected by the copyright of the person, or organisation, from which the information originated.

Please obtain their permission before reproducing any third party (non NHSBSA Copyright) information.

Data and Resources

Additional Info

Field Value
Contact Information Governance
Version 1.0
State active
Last Updated January 23, 2023, 15:23 (UTC)
Created January 23, 2023, 15:07 (UTC)