The Health Foundation today responded to the CQC's State of general practice report.

Ruth Thorlby, Assistant Director of Policy at the Health Foundation, said: ‘It is encouraging that under difficult circumstances GP practices have been able to improve their performance against the CQC’s measures of quality. 

‘Our own research has shown that despite the pressures facing the health service, the overall quality of care that people receive across the NHS is, on the whole, bearing up. Patient satisfaction with general practice remains high, even though GPs in the UK report higher levels of work-related stress than in 10 other comparable countries. 

‘The CQC highlights the importance of continuity of care, and Health Foundation research has also found this. Our recent study found that older patients who saw the same GP more consistently experienced 12% fewer hospital admissions for conditions that can be managed in primary care. 

‘GPs and commissioners need more support to provide both prompt access to a GP and the greater continuity valued by GPs and patients alike. This could help address the likely pressures on hospital beds this winter by reducing the number of admissions to hospital among older people.’ 

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