General Practice Improvement: Frequently Asked Questions  

Over the last 6 weeks, The General Practice Improvement Programme has been exhibiting across the country at the UK’s largest healthcare events to front line GPs, Practice Mangers and CCGs. The feedback has been outstanding with delegates keen to find out the benefits of the programme which seems so relevant in today’s healthcare market. 

Over the course of these events, the GPIP development team have been flooded with questions about the programme and have taken the time to identify key questions which seemed to stand out:

How can GPIP help with CQC inspections?

We should start by saying that GPIP hasn’t been designed to specifically meet the needs of a CQC inspection. Its primary function is to quickly help practices improve – but of course there’s an overlap – it does help in many areas, and we have written a specific piece on this here:

Are CCG’s willing to fund the programme?

With the majority of previous practices we have worked with, their CCG’s have been willing to fund and support the programme. However we understand that each CCG is different and have found the best approach is for the GPIP team to present back directly to the CCG from your recommendation and interest. 

What are the main work areas of the Programme?

The programme focuses on 7 high impact areas which in the short term can make the most practical and suitable changes.  These are: 

  • Chasing the Tail 
  • Workforce Planning
  • Consistency of Approach
  • Workplace Organisation
  • Effective Email & Meeting Management
  • Minimum Job Requirements
  • Failure Demand

Is there any Homework involved?

Unlike other productive programmes, GPIP is delivered through half day, once a week sessions over a 12 week period to ensure visible changes can be made on the day of implementation. There is no homework for the practice and when we leave, we continue to offer one year’s telephone support and the GPIP box set to assist you in maintaining those changes. 

How can GPIP deal with our high attending patients?

The Chasing the Tail module focuses on high attending patients, by using  data from your systems we identify a select cohort of patients whose care is most likely to be costly of time due to their high attendance. We then work with all levels of staff to look to better manage their care in order to free up a considerable amount of time for the practice. Time, which you have the freedom to invest elsewhere in your practice. 

How does GPIP differ from other Improvement Programmes?

Many other improvement programmes offer a long process of development which requires practices to complete a considerable amount of solo homework in order to create long term changes. The issue with this is that practices don’t see direct changes and usually don’t have the headspace to complete the homework individually.  The General Practice Improvement Programme is designed to tackle this by offering the interventions across 12 weeks with no homework so the Practice can see sustainable changes on the day of delivery. 

What ROI is expected form the Programme?

As the programme is designed to release efficiencies and time, it is how the Practice re-invests that time to determine ROI. For example one practice was able to increase their list size by 1200 patients due to the considerable amount of time they were able to save, generating an additional £75,000 in revenue. 

Can GPIP help support the Quality and Outcome Framework?

Although GPIP was not designed to directly support the QOF framework many of the outcomes help practices achieve higher points through the 6 main scoring areas.  If this is something your practice is looking to achieve, the programme can be tailored specifically to help improve support and develop each scoring area resulting in a more efficient practice. 


If you have questions of your own, get in touch at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




How can GPIP help with CQC inspections?                      

General Practice Improvement Programme

The pressures facing General Practice have never been greater. With an increasingly elderly population, a higher prevalence of lifestyle related illnesses and growing expectations from the wider public for a prompt, highly efficient service – practices face challenges like never before. 

Add into this mix the increasing scrutiny from central and regulatory bodies such as CQC as well as the rising costs and falling income for practices and we start to see a very difficult picture. 

One question we’re often asked is, how can the General Practice Improvement Programme help my CQC inspection?

We should start by saying that GPIP hasn’t been designed to specifically meet the needs of a CQC inspection. Its primary function is to quickly help practices improve – but of course there’s an overlap. 

CQC’s 5 Key Questions

• Are they safe?

Many things affect the practice safety. In GPIP we cover key areas such as workforce planning, to ensure your practice has the right skill mix in the practice every day. We also work with the practice to ensure doctors provide a consistent approach to patient care through our ‘consistency of approach’ module. 

• Are they effective?

A focus on the right care for the patient and ensuring their care is effective is the foundation of any practice. Through the ‘Chasing the Tail’ module, GPIP works to look at the most frequently attending patients with an MDT to ensure each of these patients is receiving the right level of care for their condition. Often we find that many of these patients can be better and more effectively managed, ensuring their care is improved and the practice’s time released. 

• Are they Caring?

Practice staff are some of the most caring and dedicated anywhere in the health service, but stress and pressure can sometimes mean that staff don’t spend enough time with patients. The primary focus of GPIP is to help reduce practice pressure and release time for practice staff. 

• Are they Responsive?

A practice need to be able to meet the needs of it’s patients – so effective organisation of the practice is essential. Through the ‘Workplace Organisation’ module, the GPIP team work with practice staff to help improve efficiency using key organisational techniques. 

• Are they well-led?

Having a strong management and governance team within a practice is essential. Whilst GPIP won’t change the character of your team, it will help to define, set and embrace a set of standard operating procedures which have been developed with the whole practice team. 

More information on the expectations of CQC can be found here: 



Review: GPIP at Best Practice                      

General Practice Improvement Programme

Last week's Best Practice show, held at Birmingham's NEC, provided another opportunity for the General Practice Improvement team to speak to practice managers, CCGs and newly formed Federations from across NHS England. 

The event, which hosted speaking slots for Health Secretary; Jeremy Hunt, as well as sessions on CQC inspections and other key thinkers from the world of healthcare.

Once again the GPIP team took to the stage along with Louise Johnson, practice manager at Unity Health. A packed session saw Louise outline how her practice had successfully been through the General Practice Improvement programme earlier this year and how the programme has sustained through her practice. 

If you would like to see Louise's presentation, please click here



Useful Links