General practice provider collaborations in England

Added May 4, 2020

Citation: Pettigrew LM, Kumpunen S, Mays N, et al. The impact of new forms of large-scale general practice provider collaborations on England’s NHS: a systematic review. British Journal of General Practice 2018; 68(668): e168-e177

What is this? The COVID-19 pandemic is placing a strain on healthcare services. Existing research on the scaling up of general practices into collaborations may provide information to help policy makers with this.

In this systematic review, the authors searched for evaluations of the impact of new organizational forms of collaboration between three or more general practices in England on quality of care processes, clinical outcomes, patient experience, worker satisfaction and costs. They restricted their search to articles published in English since January 1996 and did their final search in January 2017. They identified 4 quantitative assessments examining the same networks of 36 general practices in Tower Hamlets, London, UK and 1 qualitative study of a multisite general practice organisation with central ownership of 50 practices dispersed across England.

What was found: At the time of this review, there was little good-quality evidence of the impacts of scaling up general practice provider organisations in England.

The impact of large-scale collaboration of general practices on quality of care, patient experience, worker satisfaction and costs are uncertain.

The Tower Hamlets studies showed that such networks can lead to quality improvement through standardized processes, incentives at network level, information technology-enabled performance dashboards and local network management.

The multisite general practice organization study suggested that collaboration under a single organization could improve safety and quality processes, but may increase staff turnover, reduce continuity of care and reduce patients’ perception of quality of experience.


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