Primary care: national monitoring and evaluation strategy

Our approach to Scotland's national monitoring and evaluation of primary care reform up to 2028.

Early Priorities for the Strategy

A three-year period of significant transition for transformative service redesign, described in the 2018 GMS Contract, will shape national priorities for monitoring and evaluating in the early years of this Strategy. These priorities are likely to concern: 

  • Synthesising and sharing learning from good quality evaluations by others of new models of care, service redesign, tests of change and other innovations in the community and primary care setting where these show promise for scaling-up, sustainability and a notable contribution to achieving the primary care outcomes.
  • Policy initiatives and investment intended to reshape and increase the effectiveness of primary care (including specific national commitments and investments; IT changes), including implementation of the 2018 GMS Contract for GPs and the responsibility of transferring the six priority areas set out in the Memorandum of Understanding. [32, 33] This will include iterative modelling to progressively improve the evidence base and methodology for local and national workforce planning required to deliver the MoU and longer-term reform.
  • Developing and using the national-level primary care indicator set, establishing indicator reporting arrangements and developing an online data resource. There will be ongoing discussion about the purpose of different sets and levels of data and collaboration with ISD Scotland and NES to ensure indicator activity complements their broader data development activity and the data for local areas.
  • Public and workforce understanding and acceptability of the changes, especially as reshaping primary care will require public trust and some behaviour change by those who deliver and those who use services.

Alongside these priorities, long-term work is required to improve and modernise data and intelligence infrastructure and governance for primary care to ensure the highest standards in data entry, capture, management, processing, and sharing. This will enable practitioners, decision makers, policymakers, researchers and other analysts to have the intelligence that they need. Relevant here are SPIRE, work on patient pathways, the Scottish Atlas of Variation, the Scottish Burden of Disease Study, and other data mapping activities. 

Clearly, we will not have sufficient resources to monitor and evaluate all changes with the same intensity. The Scottish Government will, in close consultation with the Primary Care Monitoring and Evaluation Steering Group and our national partners, prioritise activity, taking account of developments across the health and social care system (e.g., the new framework for community based integrated services initiated this year), and will take the long view beyond 2021.



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