Somerset Practice Quality Scheme (SPQS)

Outcome of evaluation, October 2015

Linda Prosser, Director of Commissioning for NHS England in the South West, said:

“We are very pleased to see signs that the scheme is having a positive effect. The initial evaluation shows real benefits to morale in the surgeries, with doctors having more time for patients with complex needs and working more closely together. Given the pressure faced by general practice, that is extremely valuable in itself. At the same time, there is no evidence of any downside in terms of outcomes for patients.

“These are early days for a long-term project, which is designed to fit with the CCG’s wider strategy for primary care and to make sure we have safe and sustainable services for the future. Even so, we are very encouraged by these initial results and will commission further evaluation as the scheme builds on its promising start.”

A spokesperson for Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said:

Somerset CCG welcomes the findings of the evaluation of the Somerset Practice Quality Scheme by the South West Academic Health Science Network and National Institute for Health Research Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care: South West Peninsula (NIHR PenCLAHRC).

GPs in Somerset are working with the CCG to deliver more person centred care with an emphasis upon supporting patients living with three or more long term- health conditions. Patients are already seeing the benefits of this approach, with patients having their needs met with fewer visits to their GP.

The evaluation report also indicates the SPQS approach is improving morale amongst GPs. Doctors might well feel better about their work, despite the workforce challenges and daily pressures, when they feel their time is more effectively directed to delivering a positive improvement in their patients’ health and wellbeing. The evaluation suggests that more work is required to understand the effects of the pilot on patients, but is reassured that there was no evidence of any decline in quality of general practice in Somerset during the pilot. We are now looking to the next phase of the pilot in 2016/17.

To read the report click here.

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