What can you expect from a good GP practice?

Page last updated: 2 June 2023

Finding out what good GP care looks like can help you to make choices about your care. It can also help you understand what you should be able to expect from a service you already use.

When we inspect GP practices, there are five questions we ask.

You can expect a good GP practice to be safe because…

There are always enough staff on duty with the right skills, knowledge and experience.

Staff look out for signs that your health could be getting worse and then take steps to improve it. They ask other staff for advice where necessary.

If something goes wrong with your care or treatment, you receive an apology and the practice tells you what it will do to improve and stop the same thing happening to other people.

The practice encourages its staff to be open and honest about safety, and supports them to report concerns and incidents.

Staff take particular care to make sure that children, young people and adults who may be vulnerable are kept safe from harm.

Your personal records are complete and accurate, and they are stored securely to keep them confidential.

The practice has plans for how to deal with emergencies and busy periods.

You can expect a good GP practice to be effective because…

Doctors and other staff understand what you need to keep you as healthy as possible.

Staff have access to the information they need to help them manage your care, such as your medical records.

The practice regularly monitors how well it is performing so that it can improve your care and treatment.

Staff work effectively together and with other local teams and services to meet your needs.

If you are referred to a different service, all the information about your individual needs is shared quickly.

You are always asked to give your consent (permission) to your care or treatment. Staff will support you to make decisions about treatment if you need them to.

Staff actively support you to lead a healthier life. For example, you have access to health checks and help to return to work.

You can expect a good GP practice to be caring because…

You are treated with dignity, kindness and respect and you feel that staff are supportive and caring.

Details of your medical condition are explained to you in a way that you can understand.

You are involved in decisions about your care and treatment and staff spend time talking these through with you.

Staff are compassionate when you need help and they respect your privacy.

The practice helps you to manage your own health and to stay as independent as possible.

Staff help you and those close to you to cope emotionally with your care and treatment, and they understand your personal, cultural and social needs.

You can expect a good GP practice to be responsive to your needs because…

The practice thinks about people’s different needs and makes adjustments where possible when planning services.

Staff take into account things such as your age, disability, sex (gender), gender identity, race, religion or belief, or sexuality (whether you are lesbian, gay, bisexual or heterosexual).

The appointment system is easy for everyone to use and, as far as possible, you are able to have an appointment at a time to suit you.

The practice tries to avoid long waiting times, delays and cancellations. Staff tell you about any changes or disruptions that may affect your care or treatment.

It is easy for you to make a complaint or raise a concern. If you do, your complaint is taken seriously and the practice responds quickly and makes any necessary improvements.

You can expect a good GP practice to be well-led because…

Providing safe, high-quality, compassionate care is important to the people in charge of the practice.

The practice is open about how well it is performing.

The practice listens to your views and uses your feedback to improve the way it provides services.

Staff are encouraged to raise concerns and the practice listens to what they have to say. Any concerns are investigated and acted on.