Background: A 2018 review of the English primary care pay-for-performance scheme, the Quality and Outcomes Framework, suggested that it should evolve to better support holistic, patient-centred care and leadership for quality improvement (QI). From 2019, as part of the vision of change, financially incentivised QI cycles (initially in prescribing safety and end-of-life care), were introduced into the scheme.
Objectives: To conduct a rapid evaluation of general practice staff attitudes, experiences and plans in relation to the implementation of the first two QI modules. This study was commissioned by NHS England and will inform development of the QI programme.
Methods: Semistructured telephone interviews were conducted with 25 practice managers from a range of practices across England. Interviews were audio recorded with consent and transcribed verbatim. Anonymised data were reflexively thematically analysed using the framework method of analysis to identify common themes across the interviews.
Results: Participants reported broadly favourable views of incentivised QI, suggesting the prescribing safety module was easier to implement than the end-of-life module. Additional staff time needed and challenges of reviewing activities with other practices were reported as concerns. Some highlighted that local flexibility and influence on subject matter may improve the effectiveness of QI. Several questioned the choices of topic, recognising greater need and potential for improving quality of care in other clinical areas.
Conclusion: Practices supported the idea of financial incentivisation of QI, however, it will be important to ensure that focus on QI cycles in specific clinical areas does not have unintended effects. A key issue will be keeping up momentum with the introduction of new modules each year which are time consuming to carry out for time poor General Practitioners (GPs)/practices.
- PRIMARY CARE
- Qualitative research
- Quality improvement
- general practice