NHS bodies agree 'overarching principles' for quality in general practice

NHS regulators and other organisations have agreed key principles that define quality general practice, as part of a drive to ease workload for practices.

Professor Steve Field: plan to reduce burden on GPs
Professor Steve Field: plan to reduce burden on GPs

Organisations including the GMC, the CQC, NHS England and others that form part of the 'regulation of general practice programme board' (RGPPB) have drawn up a list that sets out broad principles around patients' experience of care, safety, effectiveness, well-led services and sustainability.

The group describes its document as 'a reference guide to help organisations to develop, adapt or change to ensure that their practice remains founded on fundamental principles of quality'. The document 'aims to provide clarity for general practices, their patients, commissioners and national organisations', it adds.

The document - High level guidance to support a shared view of quality in general practice - consolidates key standards set out in frameworks published by various regulatory organisations to try to simplify what is expected of practices.

GP regulation

CQC chief inspector of general practice Professor Steve Field said: 'There are various organisations that play a role in the regulation and oversight of general practice and to not work constructively with each other would be a disservice to the hard work of GPs and practice teams across the country.

'That is why, for the first time, we have brought together these bodies to agree a clear, common vision of the kind of service that all general practices should provide and that all patients in England are entitled to expect.

'This is not a new additional framework but a set of guiding principles for compassionate and patient-centred care, capturing the essence of general practice. Taking the same approach to assessing quality means we can begin to streamline our work and reduce duplication, thereby making it easier for practices to respond.'

GMC chief executive Charlie Massey said: 'Our health services find themselves under huge pressure at the moment, and that pressure shows no sign of abating. That’s why it’s vital that we make sure that the way we regulate doesn’t add to the burden on doctors and the system. Our collective aim is to lighten the load on GPs wherever possible and provide more support to doctors by engaging in the right way, at the right time.'

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