GPs' preventive care data a 'benchmark' for the NHS

GP practice data about preventive care and patient safety is being held up by the Healthcare Commission as a benchmark for the rest of the NHS to follow.

Such data is lacking across most of the NHS, except in GP practices, where information that is already available can be used to look at issues such as whether preventive care for long-term conditions should have been provided.

The commission, which is to merge into the newly created health, social care and mental health regulator the Care Quality Commission from April, has been involved in a project to look closely at how GP data collection can be used to reduce risks to patient safety such as late diagnosis.

In its final report into its performance the Healthcare Commission is urging the new body to continue this analysis, saying that, 'this groundbreaking work needs to be built upon'.

The Healthcare Commission also highlights the need for the new body to ensure patients are 'at the centre of care'.

'Too many concerns about the standards of care arise because the culture of the organisation providing care does not consistently treat people with dignity and respect,' the report adds.

Sir Ian Kennedy, chairman of the Healthcare Commission said the organisation's demise was an opportunity to reflect on the last five years and identify where lessons can be learned.

'I hope these lessons can assist in making regulation as effective as possible in safeguarding the public and supporting those who care for them.'

GPletters@haymarket.com

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