King’s Fund report on improving the quality of care in general practiceBMJ 2011; 342 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d1932 (Published 24 March 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d1932
- Richard Baker, professor
- 1Department of Health Sciences, University of Leicester, Leicester LE1 6TP, UK
International comparative studies show that strong primary care can be the foundation for efficient healthcare systems.1 In England, almost all the population is registered with general practitioners who work with multidisciplinary primary healthcare teams that provide a wide range of services. Care is largely free, and general practitioners act as gatekeepers into most specialist care. The system is therefore often seen as an exemplar of how primary care can enable good health outcomes to be achieved at reasonable cost.
Yet the English health system is embarking on major and controversial reorganisation, with general practice at the centre of the changes.2 The general practitioner commissioning groups now being established as part of the reforms will have a duty to help the NHS Commissioning Board in continuously improving the quality of general practice. With enviable prescience, two years ago the King’s Fund commissioned an inquiry to review the quality of general practice in England and make recommendations on how general practice can be supported to improve quality.3 The report is published this week, and it should be studied carefully by all those leading commissioning consortiums.