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GP care quality needs to be improved

11th June 2009

Family doctors are to be urged to embrace new initiatives to improve the quality of the patient experience.

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GPs at the British Medical Association conference will be told that this is the “year of quality” by family doctors leader, Laurence Buckman.

The drive by doctors to improve quality falls into line with the Department of Health stance to make the patient experience a priority following the major review of the NHS last year.

Observers see this as a step by the BMA to move on from policy rows with the government and conferences dominated by disputes over pay, contracts and polyclinics.

However, while Dr Buckman acknowledged improving quality was a shared agenda, he said he remained concerned by many government policies.

He said: “We should be proud of the services we provide, but that does not mean we should not look at ways of improving what we offer.

"It should be normal for all of us to think 'how does this look to my patients?'

"This is the year of quality, when we show our patients and the public what we can do and how well we can do it."

The BMA conference will showcase initiatives already in place such as a surgery that has interactive computer pods in its waiting room and another offering a web-based prescription ordering services to a pharmacy of the patient's choice.

Other measures include online appointment systems, longer duration for repeat prescriptions and catch-up appointment slots built into a GP’s working day.

The Department of Health welcomed the BMA's approach.

 

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