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GP patient care

Research conducted at The University of Manchester from 1995 to date has shaped the design of national systems of accreditation for general practice in the UK, Europe and globally.

Governments need to have accreditation systems in place to ensure that healthcare provider organisations, such as GP and dental surgeries, meet the desired standards of care quality and safety for patients.

Funded by the Department of Health, Professor Stephen Campbell and his team in the National Primary Care Research and Development Centre defined quality of care for individuals as being whether they can access the health care structures and processes of care that they need, and whether the care they receive is effective.

The team then developed measures of quality of healthcare in general practice. They also described and explained variations in quality and developed interventions to improve the quality of care.

The work, in collaboration with the Universities of Nijmegen and Heidelberg, led to the development of a European Practice Assessment scheme (EPA), which has been used to date by over 1,500 GP practices across seven European countries. EPA has also been adopted in Germany by dental healthcare providers.

In 2009, EPA won the award of the European Health Forum Gastein - widely regarded as the 'European Oscar' for healthcare.

Professor Campbell also worked in partnership with the Royal College of General Practitioners to develop a British system of Practice Accreditation (PA), which was implemented in 2011.

PA recognises the range and quality of operational systems, processes, procedures that a GP practice team has in place to deliver effective patient-centred quality care and services.

PA also ensures that GP practices have robust systems and procedures to demonstrate compliance with Care Quality Commission registration requirements, showing that they meet a wide range of essential health and social care standards.

"The work, in collaboration with the Universities of Nijmegen and Heidelberg, led to the development of a European Practice Assessment scheme (EPA), which has been used to date by over 1,500 GP practices across seven European countries. EPA has also been adopted in Germany by dental healthcare providers."

Stephen Campbell / Professor of Primary Care Research