Quality and Costs of Primary Care in Europe (QUALICOPC)

Funding body  European Commission 7th Framework Programme, (FP7-HEALTH-2009 DoW Project QUALICOPC; Grant agreement number 242141) http://ec.europa.eu/research/health/public-health/health-systems/projects/qualicopc_en.html
Total funding €62,000
Overarching aim The overall study aimed to investigate which aspects of the structure and organisation of primary care across 31 European countries were most important in promoting service quality and equity while minimising costs.
  • To conduct the UK GP and patient survey elements of this international project, and return data to the central study co-ordinators (NIVEL)
  • Through this to improve understanding of the organisation of primary care in the UK (including data on practice types and organisation, clinical tasks, co-ordination and integration of services, and aspects of workload)
Methods Sample: We aimed to recruit a sample of 220 GP practices in England. Method: Each participating practice received structured GP surveys, and ten structured patient surveys to complete and return to the research team. The GP surveys covered practice type and organisation, clinical tasks, coordination and integration of services, and aspects of workload. There were two types of patient questionnaire – firstly an ‘experience questionnaire’ which covered patients’ background, and various aspects of their experience of primary care services, and secondly a ‘values questionnaire’ which asked patients to rate the relative importance of the aspects of care covered by the experience questionnaireAnalysis: The UK dataset was analysed using SPSS.
Outcomes  We sought to increase understanding of the variety of ways in which primary care is structured and organised in the East Midlands and South Yorkshire regions. To increase understanding of patients’ experiences of accessing primary care services in this region, and which aspects of care they particularly value.
Outputs Peer reviewed publications:

Sirdifield C, Caballero AG, Windle K, Jackson C, McKay S, Schäfer WA, Siriwardena AN (2016). Comparing importance and performance from a patient perspective in English general practice: a cross-sectional survey. Family Practice 33(2):179-85.

Schäfer WLA, Boerma WGW, Kringos DS, de Maeseneer J, Greß S, Heinemann S, Rotar-Pavlic D, Seghieri C, Švab I, Van den Berg MJ, Vainieri M, Westert GP, Willems S and Groenewegen PP. QUALICOPC, a multi-country study evaluating quality, costs and equity in primary care. BMC Family Practice 2011, 12:115.Conference presentations and workshops

Impact  This study fits with our work to measure experience in primary and prehospital healthcare and has led to greater awareness of which aspects of the structure and organisation of primary care are key to promoting service quality and equity whilst minimising costs. To increase understanding of patients’ experiences of accessing primary care services, and which aspects of primary care provision they value most highly.

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