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Intelligent monitoring of GP practices - data update

Published:
5 December 2014

We have sent the below briefing letter to stakeholders regarding some updates we are making to the data in our intelligent monitoring of GP practices.


Last month, as part of our new approach to inspecting and regulating general practice, we launched GP Intelligent Monitoring (IM), the system which we use to help us prioritise our inspections. This first set of data, published in line with our commitment to transparency, showed overwhelmingly that most GP practices were of low concern.

Following feedback from national and local stakeholders, and working with NHS England, we have now completed a comprehensive review of the data and, as a result, there are a number of changes which are set out further below.

  • GP patient survey indicator (GPPS005) – this indicator has been removed following review of the methodology and individual survey response data
  • GPHLIAC01 – data for this indicator has been updated by NHS England
  • GPHLICPD – data for this indicator has been updated by NHS England
  • GPHLICH01 – data for this indicator has been updated by NHS England
  • GPOSDD01 – data for this indicator has been updated by NHS England

The vast majority of GP practices will not be affected by these changes. Overall, 60 practices (less than 1%) previously in higher priority bands 1 and 2 will now move to bands which are of lower priority for inspection. We will contact each of those practices to apologise for any concern this may have caused GPs, their staff and their patients. We will also contact the seven practices which will move into a higher priority band as a result of these changes. Updated IM reports and more information will be available on our website from Monday.

I would like to take this opportunity to reinforce the message that the banding is not a judgement. Intelligent monitoring helps us to prioritise our inspection programme as well as informing the questions we will ask during the inspection. Intelligent monitoring will never be used in isolation to make a final judgement or produce a rating of a GP practice.

We continue to review all the feedback that we have received and it is important to highlight that this is the first release of Intelligent Monitoring for GP practices and we will continue to develop the approach. We are clear that some aspects of GP practice activity do not lend themselves well to the use of metrics which is why Intelligent Monitoring should be viewed as part of our wider approach which includes:

  • inspection teams with specialist knowledge of general practice
  • comprehensive key lines of enquiry for inspectors which have been published
  • intelligence-sharing with CCGs, Quality Surveillance Groups, NHS England area teams, LMCs, GP practices and the public
  • data collection from other sources such as NHS England’s primary care web tool, local Healthwatch, Public Health England practice profiles

I would appreciate your support in disseminating the real intent behind Intelligent Monitoring to help dispel the myths.

Yours sincerely,

Professor Nigel Sparrow FRCP, FRCGP, FAcadMEd
Senior National GP Advisor and Responsible Officer

Last updated:
5 December 2014