Select Committee on Health Written Evidence


Letter from Dr Maureen Baker, Honorary Secretary, the Royal College of General Practitioners (PC 14)


  I am pleased to offer written evidence on behalf of the College to the Health Committee's Inquiry into Palliative Care.

  The Royal College of General Practitioners is registered charity and our object is

    ". . . to encourage, foster and. maintain the highest possible standards in general medical practice and for that purpose to take or join with others in taking any steps consistent with the charitable nature of that object which may assist towards. the same."

  We have over 21,000 GPs as Members, Fellows or Associates and have been in existence for over 50 years, being granted a Royal Charter in 1972. We have pursued our aim of improving the quality of care in general practice by introducing various quality markers, the key markers and standards being:

    —  Examination for Membership of the College introduced in 1965;

    —  Fellowship by Assessment (FBA) introduced in 1989 as a method of recognising by assessment the very highest standards in general practice (there is also Fellowship by Nomination);

    —  Membership by Assessment of Performance (MAP) introduced in April 1999 as a rigorous assessment route to membership for those who did not or could not take the Examination.

    —  Quality Team Development (QTD): introduced in 1999, this assesses practice teams who achieve a satisfactory level of organisation and care; it is aimed to be within the compass of most practices;

    —  development of the Quality Practice Award (QPA): through multi-disciplinary groups using self-assessment and peer review, QPA identifies practices offering a high quality range of services to their patients;

    —  the continued development of the criteria for the appointment and re-appointment of trainers in training practices, re-assessed on defined criteria at three to five yearly intervals;

    —  the development of a Leadership programme which is now in its second year of operation.

  The College is also extremely active in the fields of GP postgraduate education, not least through a range of courses and conferences, in clinical guidance and advice and in primary care research

  The College publishes a number of documents in the course of a year which publicise its activities, including standard-setting, educational activities and clinical guidelines. Its Journal is one of the world's leading academic general practice publications, as measured by the Journal Citation Report.

24 February 2004

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