The LMC sees one of its major roles as being the promotion of high-quality general practice. Indeed the mission statement reads:
“The aim of Beds & Herts LMC Ltd is to support GPs and practices to aspire to excellence in patient care by advising on and promoting the development of all aspects of general practice”
We strongly believe that the provision of high-quality patient services and the best possible clinical care are essential to ensure the long-term sustainability of general practice in Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire. This is a key principle behind much of the information available on this website.
Quality markers in General Practice are notoriously difficult to identify. There is no doubt that the Quality and Outcomes Framework indicators show some correlation in the delivery of chronic disease management, but General Practice is much more complex and diverse than just chronic disease management. We also believe that practices need to concentrate just as much on the quality of patient experience as they do to providing high quality, evidence based clinical care. For this reason we provide a wide range of advice, educational courses, seminars and lectures on all aspects of practice management.
Registering with the Care Quality Commission
All practices had to register with the Care Quality Commission by April 2013 and inspection visits have commenced. Comprehensive information about what practices have to do, and the standards they have to comply with, are on the CQC website.
Quality and Outcomes Framework
There is now significant evidence to show that life expectancy and patient outcomes have improved since the introduction of the Quality and Outcomes Framework, as part of the new GMS contract in 2004.
Since 2004, the QOF domains have been developed and expanded to cover more clinical areas and to include indicators that recognise the development and adherence to clinical pathways and cost effective prescribing.
The Patient Survey
Primary Care Commissioners and the government have placed a large emphasis on the results of the GP Patient Survey, designed and run by Ipsos MORI, as a measure of access to GP services and patients’ experiences and, therefore, a proxy measure of quality; further information on the questionnaires and results can be found on the Patient Survey website. Whilst of some value, such measures as the patient survey, give a snapshot of the experiences of only a very small sample of patients and we believe, therefore, that they need to be treated with some caution as genuine markers of quality.
Most PCTs introduced ‘balanced scorecards’ as a way of collating known, measurable information about practices and used these as discussion documents at contract and quality meetings with practices. Most of these balanced scorecards included prescribing and referral trends within a practice. It was always unclear how these could correlate to the quality of care for the individual patient but it could highlight variation between practices and even between GPs within a practice.
Since commissioning of GP services moved to NHS England, a national database has been established, based on a nationally agreed set of high level indicators and outcome standards for general practice. This uses publicly available data from a number of different sources and enables the area team, CCGs and practices to compare practices nationally against a number of different criteria. The data is not necessarily up to date but uses the most recent available information. This is NOT a balanced scorecard, and it has been explicitly stated by NHS England that there is no intention to use this for performance management; rather it is intended to highlight variation that can then be discussed with the practice. Practices can access this webtool at www.primarycare.nhs.uk/.
Since 2002 all GPs have had to undertake an annual appraisal and Revalidation, for all doctors, began to be implemented in 2013. There are more details about these on the GP Appraisal page of this website and on the Royal College of GPs (RCGP) website.
In terms of the quality of service provided by an individual GP we would highly recommend that all GPs read ‘Good Medical Practice for GPs’, written by the RCGP in collaboration with the General Practitioners Committee (GPC) of the BMA. Based upon the GMC’s ‘Good Medical Practice’, it gives a clear differentiation between the standards of a good GP against those of a poor GP.
Other Quality measures
In its own right, membership of the RCGP is achieved by individual GPs following an assessment against very high standards that the profession sets for itself. The RCGP also runs the Quality Practice Award although they are not currently accepting new applications.
Please search our Library for further information on any specific query you may have. If you cannot find the information you want in our Library, please contact the LMC office to see if we can help further.
|12619||Care Quality Commission Registration-What you need to know|
From July 2012, most primary medical services providers will be invited to apply for registration with the Care Quality Commission, and all providers will need to be registered by April 2013. The purpose of this guidance is to aid GPs by providing a straightforward explanation of the registration process, to help providers determine whether they are compliant with the CQC's essential standards, and to explain what will happen once providers are registered.
|19936||Care Quality Commission Strategy 2013-2016|
This strategy sets out what we aim to achieve in the next three years. In developing it we have looked closely at how we carry out our role, listening to what people who use health and social care services, providers of those services and others tell us about what matters to them.
|6988||Care Quality Commission Website|
Our job is to check whether hospitals, care homes and care services are meeting government standards
|25227||Care Quality Registration|
The purpose of this guidance is to aid GPs by providing a straightforward explanation of the registration process, to help providers determine whether they are compliant with the CQC's essential standards, and to explain what will happen once providers are registered.
|25228||Confidentiality and Disclosure of Information|
Archived code of practice
|6989||CQC - Information for GPs|
Answers to the most common questions about registration and explaination of some of the key terms we use both on the registration form and in the guidance documents
|19382||GMC Good Medical Practice (2013)|
Link to Guidance
|6990||GP Patient Survey Website|
This site is designed to provide information to patients registered with a GP who have been selected to take part in the GP Patient Survey, as well as to the general public who may be interested in knowing more about the survey
|25229||Practice Accreditation and Quality Practice Award|
|19935||Quality Practice Award|
|16116||RCGP Good Medical Practice for General Practitioners|
The central document underpinning the process of revalidation - launched jointly by the RCGP and the General Practitioners Committee with endorsement from the General Medical Council.
|6993||RCGP Guide to Revalidation|
This section is dedicated to Revalidation and contains information concerning every aspect of the process as it concerns General Practitioners
|6991||RCGP How to Join|
Information on how to join the RCGP, member benefits, fees and lots more
Last reviewed on 8th December 2015 (HB)