UK GPs lead US colleagues in high quality primary care

A survey of 6,000 primary care physicians in Australia, Canada, Germany, NZ, Netherlands, UK, and the US, has revealed striking differences in practice systems, such as clinical governance processes, IT capacity, use of care teams, and patient access.

The Commonwealth Fund survey, showed the UK comparing well with other countries, particularly in terms of patient safety, use of technology, care of patients with multiple conditions, and the use of practice teams.

In contrast the US and Canada lagged behind in many categories – a shortfall the authors blamed on the lack of national policies for primary care.

The main findings included:

  • In the UK 76 per cent of doctors felt they were well prepared to provide optimal care for patients with multiple chronic conditions - second only to Germany (93 per cent). Use of clinical teams to manage chronically ill patients varied, ranging from 73 per cent in the UK to 25 per cent -38 per cent in Canada, US, and Australia.
  • Only 28 per cent of US doctors said they used electronic medical records, compared with the Netherlands (98 per cent), New Zealand (92 per cent), UK (89per cent), and Australia (79 per cent).
  • Only 10 per cent of Canadian and 23 per cent of US doctors receive computerised alerts about potentially harmful drug doses or interactions. Rates elsewhere ranged from 93 per cent (Netherlands) and 91 per cent (UK) to 40 per cent (Germany).
  • UK doctors were most in favour of expanding the roles of non-physicians in delivering care to patients.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins


Already registered?

Sign in

Just published

Young doctor

BMA poll could see 'demeaning' junior doctor title ditched

The BMA could drop the term 'junior doctor' in favour of 'resident doctor' to better...

Houses of parliament

Tory peer calls PA fears 'Luddism' and claims most GP visits 'incredibly straightforward'

Most GP appointments are 'incredibly straightforward' and fears over a wider role...

UK money

NHS pension contribution overhaul to go ahead from April

Changes to NHS pension contribution rates, which will see the top earners required...

BMA sign

BMA warns £800m lost from GP contract since 2019 as last-ditch talks continue

BMA negotiators remain in talks over an improved GP contract offer for 2024/25 just...

GP consultation

GPs still under pressure to prescribe black triangle drug inclisiran

GPs are continuing to face pressure to prescribe the black triangle drug inclisiran...

BMA chair Professor Phil Banfield

Lords urged to block legislation for GMC to regulate PAs

The BMA has urged peers to block legislation that would make the GMC responsible...