Inspection and Regulation

05.04.18

Bodies agree ‘common vision’ of general practice quality for the first time

A national strategy which will form the basis of defining quality measures and best practice in general practice has been published.

The Regulation of General Practice Programme Board (RGPPB), made up of 11 national organisations responsible for the regulation and oversight of general practice in England, has published its statement on the shared view of quality in general practice.

The document was developed with the support of organisations representing providers, professionals and the public, drawing together existing frameworks into an overarching set of principles.

It is hoped that by bringing together multiple definitions of quality, the board can begin to reduce the workload and duplication for healthcare providers in providing evidence of outcomes for quality assurance – a key aim set out in the GP Forward View.

The shared view of quality does not describe a set of processes, pathways or clinical outcomes, as it was felt that an overly prescriptive definition would inhibit quality because it would be limited by the current understanding of best practice – which evolves.

Professor Steve Field, chief inspector of general practice and co-chair of the RGPPB, said: “There is little argument that general practice is one of the most important elements of health care in England.”

He explained that various organisations play a role in the regulation and oversight of general practice, and argued that it would be “a disservice” to GPs and practice teams to not work constructively with each other.

“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,” he added.

“Importantly, 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.”

Over the next year, the organisations will provide clarity on how to embed the shared view of quality in the oversight, regulation, commissioning and provision of general practice.

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