Engaging with Quality in Primary Care

A programme to help primary care clinicians to increase their capacity, capability and responsibility for clinical quality improvement

Thumbnail

This programme is closed for applications.

  • Aimed to help primary care clinicians increase their capacity, capability and responsibility for clinical quality improvement.
  • Nine projects were selected to take part, ranging from the management of back pain to tackling domestic violence and reducing health inequalities.
  • Ran between 2007 and 2011.


 

Assessments such as clinical audits show there are wide variations in the quality of primary care. Given that 80% of contact between the public and the health service takes place in primary care settings, it is clear many patients are receiving lower quality care than they should be entitled to expect.

In order to improve the quality of patient care, clinicians need a good understanding of existing quality levels and know how to implement and measure changes in practice. Without this, interventions designed to produce clear improvements for patients may not be realised.

Aims

Our Engaging with Quality in Primary Care programme aimed to help primary care clinicians to become engaged more fully, to increase their capacity, capability and responsibility for clinical quality improvement. We wanted to enable them to contribute to the knowledge base and potentially influence changes in health care policy.

Projects

The nine improvement projects that took part were very diverse, ranging from the management of back pain to tackling domestic violence and reducing health inequalities. Team members included GPs, specialist clinicians and other health professionals, academic researchers and voluntary groups. All clinical teams had to demonstrate how they planned to involve patients and service users.

Each clinical team received coaching to build their quality improvement and leadership skills. This helped them to set up processes to measure the current quality of clinical care in their area, and then implement activities to change clinical practice and monitor the results.

Impact

Across all the projects, the general direction of change was positive but slight. The majority of the changes reported by the project teams were improvements in patient care rather than in health outcomes. Measurable benefits for patients were achieved but the changes identified were modest and patchy.

A learning report from this programme is available.

Further reading

Research report

Involving primary care clinicians in quality improvement

This is the report of an independent evaluation of our Engaging with Quality in Primary Care (EwQPC) improvement programme.

Primary care domestic violence programme

Improvement project

Led by Queen Mary, University of London, this project focused on domestic violence and how the NHS, particularly in primary care, can better respond to it. The project used a randomised control trial ...

Improving the quality of mental health in schools (QUEST)

Improvement project

Led by the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London, this project focused on mental health problems in children and young people, who often don’t seek help from GPs or primary care, identifying ...

Improving the management of back pain (LIMBIC)

Improvement project

Led by Bournemouth University and partnered by BackCare, NHS Bournemouth and Poole, NHS Wiltshire, and the Institute of Musculoskeletal Research and Clinical Implementation, this project focused on ba...

Implementing evidence-based primary care for back pain (IMPACT BACK)

Improvement project

Led by The North Staffordshire and Cheshire Primary Care Research and Development Consortium, this project focused on back pain and identifying the most appropriate treatment for different types of pa...

Equity, ethnicity and expert patients (EQUITY)

Improvement project

Led by The Clinical Effectiveness Group, Centre for Health Science, Queen Mary University of London, working with Tower Hamlets PCT, Social Action for Health, and City University London, this project ...

A whole system approach to quality improvement (QUALITY MK)

Improvement project

Led by NHS Milton Keynes, this project aimed to ensure effective practice-based commissioning, ensuring it is primary care led, patient-focused and evidence-based. They found that a high level of enga...

Improving Management in Gastroenterology (IMAGE)

Improvement project

Led by CORE: The Digestive Orders Foundation with a range of expert partners, this project aimed at ensuring patients receive the most appropriate advice and tests as well as access to secondary care ...

Resources for Effective Sleep Treatment

Improvement project

This project, led by West Lincolnshire Primary Care Trust, focused on sleep treatment and encouraging treatment options other than prescribed sleeping pills. The team analysed prescribing data, survey...

Quality improvement in chronic kidney disease

Improvement project

This project, led by St George’s, University of London and Kidney Research UK, focused on helping GPs identify and manage patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), a long-standing clinical problem a...

Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101

Work with us

We look for talented and passionate individuals as everyone at the Health Foundation has an important role to play.

View current vacancies
Artboard 101 copy 2

The Q Community

Q is an initiative connecting people with improvement expertise across the UK.

Find out more