Involving primary care clinicians in quality improvement: an independent evaluation of the Engaging with Quality in Primary Care programme

Document type
Corporate author(s)
Health Foundation (Great Britain)
Health Foundation
Date of publication
1 April 2012
Health Services
Social welfare
Material type

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This report sets out findings from a four-year evaluation of the Health Foundation’s Engaging with Quality in Primary Care programme. Nine teams from across the country were funded to design, implement and evaluate quality improvement projects. These projects would engage primary care clinicians in making measurable and sustainable improvements in the quality of clinical care.

The projects secured and maintained the involvement of clinicians and were associated with changes in clinicians’ attitudes, behaviour and understanding. Patient involvement was an important and successful element of the programme. While each project can rightly claim to have done some things well, it is clear that undertaking a quality improvement project is more demanding and its benefits more elusive than project teams initially think. Quality improvement projects may be a solution to some problems, but they are not a universal fix for poor quality in the NHS. The measurable benefits for patients achieved during the period of the evaluation were modest and patchy. Projects also prioritised achievement of other, wider benefits and in some instances were able to demonstrate these.