• Run by St Leonard’s Research Practice, Exeter.
  • Aiming to improve continuity between registered patients and their personal doctors in order achieve health improvements and increase patient satisfaction across five GP practices.
  • Will introduce interventions including a continuity toolkit, measurement methods and promotional materials that will increase commitment to continuity in practice staff and patients.
  •  Will run from January 2019 to December 2020.

'If you don’t measure it, you can’t manage it'.

Repeated contact between an individual patient and a doctor gives them both the opportunity for improved understanding of each other’s views and priorities, and has been shown to reduce hospital admissions and mortality. However, such continuity of care is currently not often measured and so not managed.  

This project led by St Leonard’s Research Practice aims to improve relational continuity between registered patients and their personal doctors to achieve health improvements. It will focus on improving continuity for patients across a Continuity Improvement Federation that includes St Leonard’s and four other practices in Exmouth, Exeter and Mid Devon.

The first step will be to demonstrate how practices can measure continuity of care on a monthly basis using a GP-friendly instrument. Secondly, the project team will build and maintain relationships with GPs, administrative staff and patients in all the collaborating practices to secure their input and involvement in the delivery of continuity.

Thirdly, a series of workshops will be run to promote continuity and present research-based evidence on associated health improvements. Finally, a continuity toolkit, including a website, and promotional materials for practices and patients, will be developed.

These interventions will help to create a cultural change among GPs, administrative staff and patients that leads to continuity being better valued and implemented.

As well as maximising relational continuity with the patient’s own GP, the project team hopes to demonstrate measured improvements in practice performance indicators (such as hospital admissions, hospital attendances, and medicine uptake and adherence) and patient satisfaction.

Contact details

For more information, email Sir Denis Pereira Gray, Research Consultant at St Leonard's Research Practice.

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