Demand for continuity of care to be incentivised

Continuity of care should be incentivised through the GP contract, say academics and GP politicians.

Professor Martin Roland
Professor Martin Roland

Professor Martin Roland, Director of the National Primary Care Research and Development Centre in Manchester, has called for practices to publish patient satisfaction rates with continuity of care.

‘My preference would be to incentivise this through patient questionnaires. I wouldn't put quality framework points on it but I would make the information available.

‘We don't know how much effect putting a quality framework score into the public domain has but it is probably high. People guard their reputations carefully.'

GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman said negotiations with the DoH on rewarding GPs who score high on continuity of care had repeatedly failed.

‘We've discussed it several times and come to the conclusion that the government is not interested.'

Dr David Colin-Thome, the DoH's national director for primary care, was unable to comment.
Three recent studies suggest that ‘many patients in England value personal continuity more highly than rapid access to care', Professor Roland said.

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