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Tuesday 18th June 2019

One in five GP practices underperform

13th January 2011

A new survey has indicated that almost 20% of GP practices are underperforming across a number of quality and performance measures.


The analysis from HSJ is based on primary care trust GP scorecards.

Of the 110 PCTs which responded, 43 said they produced a scorecard while 23 provided useable information for the survey, amounting to 15% of England’s 8,500 practices.

PCT scorecards rate practices red, amber or green on a range of priority quality indicators and of the practices covered 241 (19%) were rated red on more than a third of their indicators.

Indicators include the proportion of a practice’s patients reporting they can get appointments easily in the GP patient survey; the proportion of its eligible population receiving relevant immunisations; success identifying and monitoring patients with serious long term conditions; and the rate of accident and emergency attendances or admissions among their patients.

While King’s Fund policy director Anna Dixon acknowledged some poor performance may be down to deprivation in a practice areas, she added: “This shows a lot of variation and at least some of those at the low end probably fall below what is acceptable. These need to be looked at more carefully and, if there are problems, they need to be addressed.”

In response, Royal College of GPs chair Clare Gerada told HSJ that the analysis was limited as measures often did not fully reflect GP performance.

She said that in general, scorecards give a crude analysis of how a practice is performing and need to be understood in that context.


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