Improving Together: A National Framework for Quality and GP Clusters in Scotland

Complements the development of the Scottish national GP contract.

Information & Intelligence to support GP Practices and GP Clusters

The Scottish Primary Care Information Resource ( SPIRE) is a new, successfully tested, development and will be available to use in GP practices in 2017. SPIRE is a user friendly simple way to look at the information practices have on in their own systems [8] . More information on SPIRE can be found here.

The first round of SPIRE searches have been designed in conjunction with GPs, pathfinder practices in Scotland, the Scottish Patient Safety Programme, GPs from SCIMP and Health Improvement Scotland. At the click of a button, these initial searches will include for example; identifying people with multiple morbidity, a flu immunization dashboard and high risk medicines monitoring.

In the future, the SPIRE team will work with local information services and GP cluster representatives to make sure that SPIRE is providing the right information to support quality in primary care in a practical and useful way. This could include, for example; workload analysis, patient safety searches, and identifying those who would most benefit from anticipatory care planning.

SPIRE also contains a module which practices can use to improve their data quality, an important part of quality in primary care.

The SPIRE service will simplify and standardise the process for reporting on, and extracting from, data held within GP practice systems. This will help unlock the valuable source of information which is held within GP records, information which has the potential to provide a greater understanding of the health needs of the population and how best to address these needs.

SPIRE will support cluster working by being able to present information at a cluster level. Thus if a cluster identifies a clinical priority, both an internal practice search and a cluster search could be undertaken. This will require safe electronic data extraction from the practice to a safe haven. This will be done at the discretion of the practice thus practices will have to opt in to enable data extractions. The information governance protocol for SPIRE also includes an opt out for individual patients for which there will be an information campaign safeguarding information. This is approved and endorsed by the Scottish General Practitioners Committee and Royal College of General Practitioners, The Information Commissioner and Patient Groups.


The Local Intelligence Support Team ( LIST) was deployed across Scotland from April 2015 to support Health and Social Care Integration. The team provides on-site expert analytical support. The LIST service has provided local decision-makers with meaningful and actionable intelligence, leading to improved outcomes for service-users and citizens. In several areas of the country GP practices are actively involved in successful projects with LIST. The service will be expanded more formally into Primary Care and will support Cluster Quality working, in particular, intelligence led influence and decision making.

The future aspiration is an intelligence led service which is joined up across health and social care including GP practices and GP clusters; there are a range of tools and information sources which could be, in time, pooled together , for example, SOURCE [9] an intelligence service already used by Health and Social Care Partnerships and Discovery [10] one currently used by secondary care.

Integrated Local Intelligence Support Team


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