Intended for healthcare professionals


How to assess quality in primary care

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: (Published 06 November 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h5950
  1. Robert Grant, senior lecturer in health and social care statistics 1,
  2. Jim Parle, professor of primary care2
  1. 1Kingston University and St George’s, University of London
  2. 2University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
  1. Correspondence to: R Grant robert.grant{at}

The Health Foundation has produced a useful review of indicators

As patients in the UK we are entitled to a general practitioner. But how should we choose which one is right for us? How do we find out about the quality of general practices we might consider joining? Other stakeholders—commissioners, government, Monitor, the taxpayer—are at least as interested in the answer to this question as patients.

To help answer these questions the Health Foundation has produced, at the instigation of the health secretary, a review on indicators of quality in English general practice. What does it tell us? And what does it leave out?

Quality is an essential but slippery concept, reflected imperfectly in each of the many ways we can assess structure, process, and outcomes in primary care. Despite the difficulties, judgments about primary care are possible, and guidance has been available for some time.1 2

The Health …

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