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GP mythbuster 45: NICE Quality Standards in general practice

  • Organisations we regulate,
  • GP and GP out-of-hours services

When we inspect GP practices we are looking for evidence of high quality patient care.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) provides guidance and advice to improve health and social care. NICE Quality Standards (QS) are one way for practices to demonstrate that the care they deliver is high quality and evidence-based.

What are NICE QS?

NICE QS are a set of standards which are developed independently in collaboration with health and social care professionals, practitioners and service users.

The standards address priority areas where there may be a variation in the quality of care provided.

Each standard includes a set of statements and information about how to measure progress. They usually summarise key recommendations for improving aspects of care.

The QS cover common conditions managed in primary care, plus topics beyond the scope of the Quality Outcomes Framework. See the full list of NICE quality standards.

How can practices use NICE QS?

We expect practices to consider quality improvements of the care and treatment they provide. This is part of our key line of enquiry (KLOE) E2: how are people's care and treatment outcomes monitored and how do they compare with other similar services?

NICE QS are evidence-based statements of best practice so they are useful to support quality improvement activity. They may help practices demonstrate good and outstanding care.

Where can I find out more?

NICE manages a Shared Learning Collection showcasing approaches to implementing guidelines and standards. These examples show how NICE guidance and standards have been put into practice to change and improve services. Practices can submit examples to showcase their work, which can then be considered for NICE’s annual Shared Learning Awards.

Last updated:
28 April 2021