Practices may be ranked on GP surgery hours

DoH's primary care czar suggests scorecard use to rate practices, tackle underperformance and enable choice.

Dr David Colin-Thomé
Dr David Colin-Thomé

Plans to introduce GP scorecards could rank practices on how many hours GPs are in surgery each week.

In his latest report, primary care czar Dr David Colin-Thome suggests the widespread use of scorecards to rate practices and cites Coventry PCT as an example of where it has worked well.

The scorecards used by Coventry PCT require detailed information about how many hours each member of staff spends in surgery or clinic, including all GPs and nurses. There are additional questionnaires to find out what services patients are offered and what standards the practice adheres to.

Dr Colin-Thome's report says the scorecards could be used by PCTs to target underperforming practices and would allow patients to choose the best practice.

He told Primary Care conference delegates in Birmingham last month that GPs lacked ambition and new APMS surgeries would 'worry providers enough to sharpen up'.

Last year GP reported that the DoH had expressed interest in a similar scheme in Tower Hamlets where practices were rated A, B or C depending on the level of access they provided

GPC deputy chairman Dr Richard Vautrey said the tool would have to be developed to reflect demographic differences.

'We would be concerned if a blunt tool was introduced to compare practices in different areas,' he said.

Marking practices on their shift patterns was irrelevant to assessing whether they offered good medical practice anyway, he said.

Dr Colin-Thome's report

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