DH consults on overhaul of quality indicators for general practice

GPs have been invited to respond to a DH-commissioned consultation exercise on how to improve quality indicators for general practice and use data to inform patients about the quality of local practices.

Tick box: quality indicators for GPs could be revised (Photo: Ian Bottle)

The consultation, led by the Health Foundation think tank as part of an independent review, will collate opinion from health professionals and others on GP quality indicators to ‘look at how they could be made better to support improvements to care’.

It will also examine whether current indicators - including data from the CQC, NHS choices and the GP patient survey - could play an expanded role in informing patients about the quality of local services or ‘aiding public accountability’.

GPs, practice managers, practice nurses, pharmacists and others have until 24 August to submit their thoughts, with the findings slated to be released this September.

Plans to reassess GP quality metrics were announced as part of Jeremy Hunt's new deal for GPs last month, in which he stressed that data was essential to the 'continuous improvement in the quality of care across the NHS'.

Changes to QOF

Dr Jennifer Dixon, Health Foundation chief executive, said: ‘We’ve been asked by the government to do a piece of work looking at the quality of care in general practice, in particular looking at the information that is available and whether this could be better both for the public and GPs.

‘As we know, data and information is a really powerful lever to try to help people improve care for patients. There is a lot of information around and a lot of energy being spent to collect it – so "could we do better?" is the exam question.

‘It’s really important to get this right and this consultation is a good opportunity to hear the voices of those directly involved in providing care as well as their representative organisations.’

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