Researchers are exploring the potential benefits and challenges associated with different models of digital facilitation for primary care, and will design a framework for future evaluations of the effectiveness of such interventions.
Vertical integration with a hospital helps primary care practices that might otherwise have closed to remain in operation. It thereby creates the opportunity for the continued development and improvement of local primary care for patients.
The supply of doctors in primary care, known as 'GPs' in the UK, is falling behind a growing demand for their services, as GPs leave general practice in large numbers. One way to help struggling GP practices could be vertical integration—combining health care organizations operating at different stages along the patient pathway.
In several locations across England and Wales, NHS organisations responsible for managing acute hospitals have also taken over the running of primary care medical practices. Vertical integration is a valuable option to consider when GP practices look likely to fail due to recruitment and financial difficulties, but it is not an option that should be imposed from the top down.
Primary care networks in the UK bring together general practices and community providers to develop new services for patients and to provide better integration of health and social care services and sustainability in primary care. While still relatively new, their trajectory is likely to be influenced by COVID-19–related adaptations they have made over the course of the pandemic.
Primary care networks can help GPs run a wider range of services for their patients and make changes that are needed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It will be important to have additional clarification and support around the role of primary care networks in the wider NHS in England.
Periods of rapid change offer both opportunities and challenges for health care quality improvement. Understanding the building blocks that need to be in place to support improvement processes may help those seeking to embed improvement capabilities and capacity into their organisations, both as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
Although many healthcare organisations are engaging in activities to improve the quality of healthcare, there are still considerable challenges in doing so. Additional research on quality improvement could help inform a better understanding of how improvements in patient care can be achieved and sustained.
Researchers identified a number of key indicators that can be used to analyse elements of the oncology health system from different perspectives, and then used these indicators to create an overarching scorecard for oncology ecosystem performance.
A Cambridge radio programme interviewed Sonja Marjanovic about her recent report identifying support for NHS innovation initiatives and how COVID-19 has now accelerated innovation in the healthcare system.