Potential impact of removing general practice boundaries in England: A policy analysis.


Mays, N; Tan, S; Eastmure, E; Erens, B; Lagarde, M; Wright, M; (2014) Potential impact of removing general practice boundaries in England: A policy analysis. Health policy (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 118 (3). pp. 273-8. ISSN 0168-8510 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.healthpol.2014.10.018

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Abstract

: In 2015, the UK government plans to widen patient choice of general practitioner (GP) to improve access through the voluntary removal of practice boundaries in the English NHS. This follows a 12-month pilot in four areas where volunteer GP practices accepted patients from outside their boundaries. Using evidence from the pilot evaluation, we discuss the likely impact of this policy change on patient experience, responsiveness and equity of access. Patients reported positive experiences but in a brief pilot in four areas, it was not possible to assess potential demand, the impact on quality of care or health outcomes. In the rollout, policymakers and commissioners will need to balance the access needs of local residents against the demands of those coming into the area. The rollout should include full information for prospective patients; monitoring and understanding patterns of patient movement between practices and impact on practice capacity; and ensuring the timely transfer of clinical information between providers. This policy has the potential to improve choice and convenience for a sub-group of the population at lower marginal costs than new provision. However, there are simpler, less costly, ways of improving convenience, such as extending opening hours or offering alternatives to face-to-face consultation.<br/>

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Health Services Research and Policy
Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Global Health and Development
Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Social and Environmental Health Research
PubMed ID: 25467284
Web of Science ID: 347655700001
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/2026638

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