Quality in general practice

Improving the quality of general practice care for patients has always been at the heart of the College’s mission. This position statement builds on previous definitions of quality from within general practice and from across health systems, and also on the content of the General Medical Council’s Good Medical Practice. In doing so it reflects both the enduring and changing features of general practice in the NHS across the Devolved nations. The position statement describes how the College wants to move from a standards-based assurance approach to a model that emphasises the importance of continuous improvement.

We have developed the position statement for people who provide general practice care for patients, and for those making judgements about the quality of general practice care.

There is good evidence that health systems with a strong focus on general practice deliver better outcomes at lower cost than those that are more specialist-oriented. These benefits are achieved by providing accessible care to all communities, including those with greatest need; through a whole-person and relational perspective rather than a purely disease-based approach; by managing uncertainty and reducing risks of over-medicalisation; by providing comprehensive services especially to those with multi-morbidity; and by focusing on prevention and promoting self-care. This position statement aims to enable each of these components of high quality general practice.

Clinical Policy

Download and read the full statement. RCGP position statement on quality in general practice (278 KB PDF) February 2017.