Using data for more than 8,000 general practices in England, this paper examines the association between patients’ perceptions about the non-clinical aspects of care and practice performance on measures of clinical quality.
- Both clinical effectiveness and patient experience are key domains of health care quality. By considering the relationship between them, general practices can better understand the quality of care they are providing and identify areas for improvement.
- Generally speaking, practices that deliver a good experience for their patients have higher QOF outcomes scores. The reverse is also true – practices whose patients are more negative about access to the practice and using its services generally perform less well on clinical quality.
- With some exceptions, practices that perform poorly on both clinical outcome measures and patient experience are more likely to be located in London and in more deprived areas. These practices face special challenges.
- Patients’ experience of using their GP services – especially ease of access – can affect their use of and interaction with those services, which could in turn affect the quality of their care.
Patients’ experience of using health care services is recognised internationally as a key measure of health care quality. The coalition government’s NHS Outcomes Framework for England recognises patient experience as one of five domains that will be used to assess the performance of the newly formed NHS Commissioning Board from 2013 onwards. The Board will have responsibility for commissioning primary care, so national primary care performance on patient experience and clinical quality will be of increasing importance in future. The new GP-led clinical commissioning groups will have a duty to improve the quality of primary care locally.
No. of pages: 18
More on quality in general practice
- Read Veena Raleigh's blog: Do GP practices that offer high-quality clinical care also offer a good experience for their patients?
- See our previous Inquiry into the quality of general practice in England