Healthcare: On the Agenda - Care of patients by GPs is 'variable'

In a nutshell

An independent inquiry has found widespread variations in the quality of care delivered by GPs in Britain, including some patients waiting far longer than others for hospital referrals. The report, commissioned by The King's Fund, suggested the NHS could save at least £200m a year through more efficient prescribing of drugs.

Why is this important?

GPs are to be handed £80bn of public money and a central role in implementing the Government's health reforms. The inquiry calls on GPs to embrace radical change if they are to deliver an efficient health service.

What else?

Sir Ian Kennedy, professor at University College London and chair of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, chaired the Improving the quality of care in general practice report. He said: 'I hope general practice will rise to the challenges set out in this report and seize the opportunity provided by the development of GP commissioning to deliver the improvements needed.'

PR strategy

The media outreach for the inquiry was handled in-house by The King's Fund PR team. The aim was to communicate a challenging message to those working in general practice, while securing their support for the changes outlined in the report.

Media coverage

The report featured in The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian and the FT. The BBC widely covered the story on Radio 4, the Today programme, 5 Live and online.

25% - The number of patients able to see their preferred doctor

£200m - Potential savings through more efficient prescribing of drugs.

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