Patient care has, of course, always been the cornerstone of good general practice, and includes all aspects of a patient's visit to their surgery – from the attitude of the practice staff and the surgery environment to the crucial GP-patient relationship and the quality of treatment.
In recent years, general practice has been seen as something of a political battleground, with the result that offering "patient choice" – giving people a greater say in where they receive services that best fit in with their lifestyles – has become a mantra of modern healthcare.
In primary care, this has affected everything from practice opening times, with the introduction of extended hours, to the proposed removal of practice boundaries and allowing patients to rate the quality of their practice's services on the NHS Choices website.
However, in a new environment of increased competition, practices need to go beyond box-ticking exercises if they are to deliver the best possible patient care. This includes understanding the local population and its requirements, providing targeted patient services, and ensuring the surgery is accessible to all sections of the local community.
This section of the website is geared towards providing a greater understanding of patient care, and exploring how managers can aim to provide the highest standard of care for their practice's patients.
Further reading below:
The patient care CPD Zone articles is sponsored by BMI Healthcare, the largest independent provider of private healthcare in the UK. BMI Healthcare is committed to providing a consistent, high-quality service to local communities.