Quality

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.

BMA Guidance: QOF Quality and Productivity (QP) Indicators.

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.

Balanced Scorecards

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/.

GP Quality

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.

  • Library
  • Quality
12619Care Quality Commission Registration-What you need to know
Type: html, 225611, added 5 years agoFrom 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.
AuthorBMA
AudienceGPs and Practice Managers
SynopsisFrom 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.
19936Care Quality Commission Strategy 2013-2016
Type: html, 86999, added 4 years agoThis 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.
AuthorCQC
AudienceGPs, Practice Manager and Health Care Professionals
SynopsisThis 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.
6988Care Quality Commission Website
Type: html, 7020, added 5 years agoOur job is to check whether hospitals, care homes and care services are meeting government standards
PurposeLink to the website
SynopsisOur job is to check whether hospitals, care homes and care services are meeting government standards
25227Care Quality Registration
added 3 years agoThe 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.
SynopsisThe 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.
6836Cleanliness Specifications
Type: html, 28418, added 6 years ago
25228Confidentiality and Disclosure of Information
added 3 years agoArchived code of practice
AuthorDepartment of Health
SynopsisArchived code of practice
6989CQC - Information for GPs
Type: html, 13225, added 5 years agoAnswers 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
AuthorCare Quality Commission
AudienceGPs and Practice Managers
SynopsisAnswers 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
19382GMC Good Medical Practice (2013)
Type: html, 18261, added 4 years agoLink to Guidance
AuthorGeneral Medical Council
AudienceGPs
SynopsisLink to Guidance
6990GP Patient Survey Website
Type: html, 9262, added 5 years agoThis 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
AuthorDepartment of Health
AudienceSelected patients
PurposeLink to gp-survey.co.uk website
SynopsisThis 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
25229Practice Accreditation and Quality Practice Award
added 3 years ago
AuthorRCGP
19935Quality Practice Award
Type: html, 33718, added 4 years ago
AuthorRCGP
AudienceGPs
16116RCGP Good Medical Practice for General Practitioners
Type: html, 25105, added 5 years agoThe central document underpinning the process of revalidation - launched jointly by the RCGP and the General Practitioners Committee with endorsement from the General Medical Council.
AuthorRCGP
AudienceGPs
PurposeLink to website
SynopsisThe central document underpinning the process of revalidation - launched jointly by the RCGP and the General Practitioners Committee with endorsement from the General Medical Council.
6993RCGP Guide to Revalidation
Type: html, 20654, added 5 years agoThis section is dedicated to Revalidation and contains information concerning every aspect of the process as it concerns General Practitioners
AuthorRoyal College of General Practitioners
AudienceGPs
SynopsisThis section is dedicated to Revalidation and contains information concerning every aspect of the process as it concerns General Practitioners
6991RCGP How to Join
Type: html, 19568, added 5 years agoInformation on how to join the RCGP, member benefits, fees and lots more
AuthorRCGP
AudienceGPs
SynopsisInformation on how to join the RCGP, member benefits, fees and lots more

Last reviewed on 8th December 2015 (HB)