2017: Clinical Priorities and Quality Improvements at the RCGP

Matt Houghton, Medical Director of the RCGP Clinical Innovation and Research Centre

In 2017, the Clinical Innovation and Research Centre (CIRC) has once again hosted a packed schedule of educational events, webinars, podcasts and other engagement activities for members.

In February, we launched QI Ready®, a self-accreditation tool and online learning network already has more than five-hundred members and is a vibrant community of GPs who are committed to continuously improving the quality of healthcare, focussing on the preferences and needs of the people who use services.

In July, the College published its Position Statement on Quality in General Practice [PDF]: a commitment to improve patient care and build professional pride. The position statement – which was developed for people who provide general practice care for patients, and for those making judgements about the quality of general practice care – outlines the ways in which GPs take responsibility for the care they provide to patients, and for their clinical and professional non-clinical practice.

The Inflammatory Arthritis toolkit was launched earlier this month, bringing the total number of RCGP toolkits to nineteen. These highly valued pages on the RCGP website are a carefully selected collection of resources for GPs, practice staff and patients to refer to in a primary care environment. Our most popular toolkit (TARGET: Treat Antibiotics Responsibly, Guidance, Education and Tools) was viewed 42,810 times between October 2015 and April 2017.

The five Clinical Priorities projects – Cancer, Liver Disease, Mental Health, Physical Activity and Lifestyle, and Sepsis – were established in answer to the identified needs of our members for more support and guidance in these critical areas. The Clinical Champions for each project work tirelessly to ensure that the content created is useful, engaging and tailored to a general practice audience.
Spotlight and Quality Improvement projects also offer resources to support GPs in twelve other clinical areas and are led by a passionate team of clinicians, supported by an equally passionate team of RCGP project managers and supporting staff.

The Clinical Advisers Network has reached almost two-hundred members and gives comprehensive advice on more than fifty different clinical subjects. The Network – which allows GPs with particular expertise or interests to represent the RCGP in influencing the outcomes of clinical guidelines, quality standards and a variety of other initiatives – has made an enormous impact on the work of the College and the delivery of care in general practice.

Finally, in October, we opened submissions for new projects. These new projects will replace the twelve projects which are due to finish at the end of March 2018 and, with our members updated needs in mind, will further deliver on the RCGP's commitment to promote excellence in primary healthcare. Expressions of interest close on 31 January 2018 so there's still time to have your say on what clinical areas the College should be focussing on.

As the year draws to a close it is important to acknowledge all those who contribute to clinical projects, whether they be members, faculty and devolved nation teams, or other members and supporters of the general practice community who support education by coming along to educational events and then passing on their learning to other members of the team.

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