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GP inquiry to examine “overlooked” healthcare aspects

10 May 2010

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Ways to measure “overlooked” aspects of healthcare will be one of the key aims of an inquiry into general practice, the project’s director has said.

The King’s Fund inquiry, which is due to report later in the year, will try to quantify areas such as the continuity of care offered to people and the “therapeutic relationship” between GPs and their patients.

But Nick Goodwin (pictured), project director and senior fellow at the King’s Fund, rejected reports that all existing methods used to measure quality and access would be rejected.

He said: “Quality metrics used in general practice is a pretty crowded field and we will be critiquing all of the different approaches … but it is not entirely accurate to say we will be rejecting existing indicators.”

Researchers on the inquiry panel are also discussing how the use of incentives could improve standards in healthcare aspects that are important to both GPs and patients.

“The argument about whether GPs are over-measured will inevitably be discussed,” Mr Goodwin added.

The inquiry will publish research papers later this month before producing its final report. The researchers hope to include “some illustrative examples” of how to gauge aspects of healthcare that are often overlooked.

King’s Fund