• Project led by Frontier Economics, supported by the Health Foundation’s Efficiency Research Programme.
  • Focusing on general practice.
  • Aims to explore whether GPs who are involved in training, commissioning and other initiatives achieve better outcomes for patients with long-term conditions, as well as cost savings through fewer unplanned hospital admissions.
  • Will measure GP engagement with training, commissioning, new technologies and new drugs, and examine the effect on outcomes for patients with diabetes, dementia and cancer.

The Frontier Economics project will examine whether GPs who are involved in training, commissioning and other initiatives achieve better outcomes for patients with long-term conditions, and contribute to reduced secondary care costs by making fewer unplanned hospital admissions.

The research team will focus on five characteristics of GPs and general practices:

  • participation in GP with Special Interest programmes
  • participation in other training
  • prescription of new drugs
  • adoption of new technologies such as wearable devices
  • involvement in the management of clinical commissioning groups.

The project will test the theory that GPs who are engaged in these areas are more able to prevent unplanned admissions into secondary care for patients with diabetes and dementia, and improve the efficiency of cancer treatment through early diagnosis. The researchers will collate and analyse nationally available data on:

  • achievement results for general practices
  • prescription data for general practices
  • unscheduled secondary care admissions
  • cancer survival rates.

The team will also conduct a survey with a representative sample of general practices to gather information about adoption of new technologies.

Expected outcomes

The researchers will make recommendations on how the findings could help to shape future policy making for general practice and GP engagement initiatives. The project is due to be completed by April 2017.

Contact details

For more information, contact Donna Buxton, Research Manager at the Health Foundation, or Michael Ridge, Director at Frontier Economics.

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