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Inquiry into quality of GP services

A health thinktank has launched a review into the quality of care provided by GP surgeries in a bid to make the service more transparent.

The inquiry by The King’s Fund, which is to last 18 months, will investigate the availability of GP services and variations in the standard of care.

It is hoped the inquiry will provide a series of benchmarks on good care for other practices to follow and increase the amount of information about the overall quality of care in general practice.

The thinktank said that although the quality of care has generally improved, there are still some areas causing concern.

These include difficulties with diagnosis, particularly among older patients, and lengthy delays for testing for certain types of cancer.

Other areas to be covered include the quality of GP referrals to specialists, prescribing drugs to patients, and treatment of long-term conditions.

The King's Fund said: "This is an age of increasing transparency in which good professional practice can no longer be assumed but must be demonstrated.

"Patients and those who commission services increasingly require information on quality, and professionals themselves want to be able to benchmark their own practice and services."

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The King’s Fund