Huge amounts of data are being requested by NHS England so that any “unwarranted variation” can be spotted in GP practices, it has been revealed.
Details on surgery’s staffing, suitability, premises and equipment is being requested, as well as availability of services and information on practice procedures and governance.
An ‘assurance management’ website replaces the yearly reports sent to primary care trusts (PCTs), allowing for NHS England to spot outliers in a “robust” way.
An NHS England policy document said the system would allow local area teams (LATs) to hold general practice to account.
The document states: “Unlike PCTs the LATs will be operating across a greater footprint, working with a greater number of practices and with fewer staff. This means the area teams will not have the same degree of personal relationship, insight or knowledge of every practice that currently exists between PCTs and practices.
“Again recognising the area team retains contractual accountability, the practice/CCG/area team/LMC relationship, supported by a centrally provided, transparent and consistent suite of measures, in conjunction with robust, fair and consistent guidance for the management of service and performance improvement, will ensure risks to quality and patient safety are addressed in a timely and proportionate manner.”
The ‘assurance management website’ is available here.