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Look up quality data for UK practices

www.gpcontract.co.uk Dr Patrick Halls reviews a website that provides prevalence figures for practices and primary care organisations

This website is produced by a GP with an interest in health informatics, and it publishes the quality framework data for all four countries for the years 2004/5 and 2005/6.

The site provides the prevalence figures for each of the clinical domains for every individual UK practice, as well as the achievement for each of the various clinical indicators given in percentage terms.

More helpfully, it also has the prevalence figures for each primary care organisation (PCO) and strategic health authority, in existence at that time, as well as national figures.

Its best feature is the use of an interactive map providing links down to PCO level. If you suspect, for example, that your diabetes prevalence is less than it should be, this is the place to go. I was surprised that our practice’s diabetes prevalence was less than some neighbouring practices, in spite of our efforts, and will take that information back to our diabetes team.

It is also possible to download the raw data behind the site providing you set-up a database first, such as Microsoft Access, so as to accommodate the large files.

There is also a fairly comprehensive frequently asked questions section providing information on the quality framework, the data and the actual website.

What this site is not so good at is telling you exactly how your PCO or neighbours are doing overall because it does not give the total level of achievement for the practices or PCO — that is the number of points out of 1,050 they scored.

However, it does give you the raw data for each of the 100 plus indicators for each practice or PCO so it would be possible to work it out for any given practice, if a little time-consuming.

I think it would be better if the data for your practice was presented on one side of the web page and on the other side was the data for another practice or PCO, so it is easier to compare yourself with your PCO area or another practice.

In any case I will bookmark the site in my favourites, because it does provide useful information for GPs, and will wait with interest for any updates to the site in the future.

Dr Halls is a GP in Derbyshire

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