UK top in primary care co-ordination according to international survey

The UK emerges as the first of 11 countries in an international survey of care co-ordination in primary care settings | The Commonwealth Fund

In a survey of health care experiences in 11 high-income countries, the rate of poor primary care coordination was 5.2 percent overall and 9.8 percent in the United States, the highest rate. Patients who have a positive, established relationship with their provider were less likely to report poor primary care coordination. Being young or having a chronic illness was associated with poor care coordination.

care coordination gaps

Image source: The Commonwealth Fund

The dimensions of care coordination assessed for this study were:

  • access to medical records or test results;
  • receiving conflicting information;
  • use of diagnostic tests that the patient felt were unnecessary; sharing of information between primary care doctor and specialist.

The UK had the highest percentage of patients reporting no care coordination gaps within primary care.

Full results can be accessed here


National health organisations publish a shared commitment to quality

The National Quality Board (NQB) has today (21 December) published a new framework that will promote improved quality criteria across all national health organisations for the first time | NHS England


Image source: NHS England

The new publication provides a nationally agreed definition of quality and guide for clinical and managerial leaders wanting to improve quality.

The approach has been agreed by the national bodies that form the NQB to provide more consistency and to enable the system to work together more effectively.

It is part of work to cut unnecessary red tape by reducing duplication and aligning demands on professionals for information on the quality of services.

The document sets out a range of measures to achieve higher and consistent standards including: the need for a common language that people who use services understand; to ensure commissioners and providers experience a coherent system of assurance, measurement and regulation; that professionals and staff are equipped and empowered to deliver safe, effective, and responsive care; and leaders should create a culture where people feel free to speak up when something goes wrong.

Read the full overview here

Read the full framework here

Delivering high-quality, compassionate care

Swensen, S. The King’s Fund. Published online: 9 November 2016

Speaking at The King’s Fund Annual Conference 2016, Dr Stephen Swensen, Medical Director, Office of Leadership and Organization Development, Mayo Clinic (United States), shares lessons from the Mayo Clinic model of care.


See other presentations from this conference here



Blood pressure: How can we do better?

A new blood pressure resource for primary care practitioners and local authorities has been developed | British Heart Foundation


Image source: BHF

To improve the detection and management of high blood pressure (BP), GPs, nurses and pharmacists of the CVD Leadership Forum have worked with the BHF and Public Health England (PHE), National Cardiovascular Intelligence Network (NCVIN), Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP), Stroke Association, Blood Pressure UK and British and Irish Hypertension Society to create the ‘BP: How can we do better?’ resource.

Using data from the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF), PHE, this resource is not only a comprehensive summary of CCG-level BP care across the nation, but also provides recommendations for improving care, both at a CCG and practice level.

Local and national resources can be found here

Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) – 2015-16


This Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) publication provides data for the reporting year 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016. The QOF was introduced as part of the new General Medical Services (GMS) contract on 1 April 2004. The objective of the QOF is to improve the quality of care patients are given by rewarding practices for the quality of care they provide to their patients. The Calculating Quality Reporting Service (CQRS), together with the General Practice Extraction Service (GPES) were used for the extraction of QOF data. There have been changes to QOF coding and indicators. These are referred to throughout this publication. Consideration must be given to changes to indicators and their definitions each year when interpreting differences and comparing data from one year to the next.

Key facts

  • QOF recorded prevalence – Recorded prevalence for 2015-16 is presented for 7,619 general practices in England.
  1.  The highest prevalence rates are for Hypertension (13.8 per cent), Obesity (9.5 per cent) and Depression (8.3 per cent).
  2. Hypertension (7.9 million), Obesity (4.3 million) and Depression (3.8 million) are the conditions reporting the highest register numbers.
  3. The largest year on year differences in register numbers are in Depression (increase of 470,168) and Obesity (increase of 132,222).

Image source: NHS Digital

  •  QOF achievement  – Achievement data for 2015-16 shows that:
  1.  The average achievement score for practices was 532.9 points out of 559
  2. The highest levels of achievement were for Obesity and Chronic Kidney Disease where 99.9 per cent was achieved. The lowest level of achievement was in Osteoporosis at 87.5 per cent.
  3. 640 practices achieved the maximum of 559 points. In 2014-15 there were 448 practices which achieved the maximum of 559 points.
  •  QOF exceptions – Exceptions data for 2015-16 show that:
  1.  The condition with the highest percentage of exceptions is Cardiovascular Disease at 31.3 per cent overall
  2. The measure with the lowest percentage of exceptions is Blood Pressure at 0.5 per cent overall.

Read the full overview here

Read the full report here

Shared learning: How seven day services can benefit patients

NHS Improvement

NHS Improvement has published examples of seven day services working in the NHS and how these have benefitted patients, with a view to supporting all trusts to meet the four standards identified as being ‘must do’ by 2020 in order to achieve the 7-day service standards.

Building Q: learning from designing a large scale improvement community

Health Foundation

Building Q.png

Source: The Health Foundation

Q is a diverse and growing network of people, with experience and understanding of improvement, committed to improving the quality of health and care across the UK. This report looks at the first year of the Q initiative and the extensive co-design process used to create it. It identifies lessons for anyone seeking to support improvement work across organisations or through networks, as well as those engaged in designing initiatives with many diverse stakeholders. It draws on a variety of sources including the independent real-time evaluation of Q undertaken by RAND Europe.