Inquiry calls for greater transparency and quality of care in general practice

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 23 March 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d1833
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. 1London

General practice needs radical change to improve the quality of care it delivers, the healthcare think tank the King’s Fund has concluded after a comprehensive examination of primary care in England.

The inquiry, chaired by Ian Kennedy, an expert in health law and former chairman of the Healthcare Commission, found evidence of variation in diagnosis, referral, and prescribing; weakening of continuity of care; and deficiencies in treatment of long term conditions. Its conclusion is that general practice remains a “cottage industry” when what is needed is an enterprise of industrial scale created by better cooperation through federated networks of practices.

Despite the ambitions of its project, however, the panel responsible had to admit that it has …

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