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This online Learning Network provides members with information and support around Quality Improvement (QI), an evidence-based approach that helps primary care free up time to deliver and evaluate initiatives, and embed new approaches more effectively and efficiently into practice.

QI helps us to make the most of our systems, organisations, talents and expertise to deliver better outcomes for patients.

Members have access to useful resources and case studies as well as opportunities to share learning from their experiences and make useful links with others interested in QI.

Whether you have been undertaking QI work for a while or just want to find out more, this network can support you in your journey and connect you to colleagues across the country who are working in innovative ways.

Membership is open to people working in GP practices and other organisations that support them. Register now to become a member of the Learning Network.

This network has been developed as part of the Royal College of General Practice’s Quality Improvement programme, led by two Clinical Lead’s Dr Mike Holmes and Dr Simon Stockill. If you have any questions about the programme please get in touch with the team at QI.Ready@rcgp.org.uk.

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CCGs should work with GP practices to ensure patients who need face to face consultations continue to be able to have them, says RCGP

Professor Martin Marshall, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: "Throughout the pandemic GPs and our teams have been working differently to normal delivering care to patients with both COVID and non-COVID conditions. Whilst most care has been delivered remotely during lockdown, to help stop the spread of the virus, and keep practice staff and other patients safe, face to face appointments will have been facilitated where necessary.

"As normal service starts to resume, and we have already seen an increase in face to face appointments over the last eight weeks, safety will remain a priority in general practice. GPs will wear masks and other practice staff will either wear masks or sit behind protective screens, and we are strongly encouraging all patients to wear face coverings and continue to practise good hygiene when visiting their GP practices. 
 
"However, there will be some GPs and other members of the practice team who do not feel able to return to delivering face to face patient consultations because they are at particularly high risk of COVID-19. In the case that these are single-handed GPs, and delivering care remotely is not possible, it will be important that arrangements are made for any patient to be able to see a GP face to face, if necessary. 
 
"A totally, or even predominantly, remote general practice service wouldn’t be in anybody’s best interests long-term. Remote consultations can be convenient for patients, and GPs have reported they have found them to be an efficient way of delivering care - they have also been vital in helping to keep general practice and patients safe during the pandemic. But we know that many patients prefer seeing their GP in person, and many GPs prefer this too, particularly for patients with complex health needs who really value the relationship-based care that GPs excel at delivering. The RCGP agrees with the Health Foundation that CCGs should work with practices to ensure that any patient who needs a face to face consultation with their GP is able to have one."