The Inquiry into the Quality of General Practice in England, commissioned by The King’s Fund, has been collecting and examining evidence on the quality of care and services provided by GPs and other health professionals working in general practice. The work has focused on key aspects (‘dimensions’) of general practice, selected by the inquiry panel as representing core areas for quality improvement.
But what do GPs and other primary care professionals think about the quality of care being provided? To answer this question, the Fund conducted an informal, online survey, completed by 843 GPs and other practice-based professionals. They were asked what they thought about the care being provided by their own practice and in primary care more generally and which of the different methods of quality improvement were most likely to improve quality.
This paper offers a snapshot of health professionals’ views and raises key issues for further debate. Overall, GPs felt that the quality of the care provided in general practice was high. Almost 60 per cent of respondents believed that providing continuity of care should be the main priority for improving the quality of general practice in England, with management of long-term conditions also identified. Perhaps surprisingly, given the government’s focus on this issue, access was not thought to be a priority.
In considering the impact of different methods of quality improvement, the primary care practitioners thought that best practice guidelines and pay-for-performance schemes had the most potential.