Performance by access criteria is now part of the quality-monitoring system for general practice. But patients still complain of trade-offs, for instance between speed of access and seeing the practitioner of choice.
What did we explore?
To inform its work, the Inquiry panel commissioned a research project to describe what good-quality access to GP care looks like, and how it can best be measured. A rapid view of access to care provides a framework for assessing access, and looks at the implications for future general practice provision. The paper's authors are Seán Boyle, an independent health planning and policy consultant; John Appleby, Chief Economist, Health Policy, The King's Fund; and Tony Harrison, Fellow, Health Policy, The King's Fund.
What have we learnt about access to GP care?
In March 2010 the Inquiry held a seminar on access to care with participants including GPs, practice nurses, NHS executives, health academics and patient representatives.
Key issues raised in discussion include:
- Should the '8am phone lottery' have become the established (and accepted) route into same-day care?
- Is improved access inevitably in tension with quality of clinical care and continuity of care?
- How can an access system best balance a patient’s objective and subjective need to see a GP?
What's your view?
During the inquiry, we asked for your opinions on this care dimension. You can read comments submitted below.