The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has announced that it has been awarded £169,000 to support innovation in primary care.
The grant will be funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), through its Regulators’ Pioneer Fund, which helps UK regulators and local authorities create a regulatory environment that still supports innovation.
Part of a collaboration with Yorkshire & Humber Academic Health Science Network (YHAHSN), the project will focus on GPs and primary care staff who are working to reduce health inequalities in areas of deprivation.
Looking at innovative ways that GPs have tackled health inequalities, the work will also hone in on the challenges facing general practice in areas such as delivery.
The CQC says it will be working with practices until March 2022, to find out about more about their experiences of innovation and regulation in primary care.
Learnings from the project will help inform the body’s regulatory policy and create the basis for a new toolkit, which will enable practices to develop and evidence their own work to reduce health inequalities.
Dr Rosie Benneyworth, Chief Inspector of Primary Medical Services and Integrated Care said: “Innovation is central to good, responsive healthcare that focuses on the needs of people who use services.
“The ingenuity and agility of clinicians and professionals have been fundamental to how the whole health and social care system has responded to COVID-19. However, we also know that GPs and their practice teams have long been striving to find new and effective ways of working locally that address health inequalities in their area.”
“This project gives us the opportunity to support innovation by working with providers to understand the environment that made innovative ways of working possible, and how regulation can properly recognise the positive impact that they have. Importantly, it also means that we can champion and share the excellent work that is already underway so others can develop their own initiatives – in full knowledge that the regulatory system will recognise and appreciate the significance of their efforts to reduce health inequalities.
“We are grateful to the Regulators’ Pioneer Fund for making this project possible and our colleagues at the Yorkshire & Humber Academic Health Science Network, who will be working alongside us,” Dr Benneyworth added.
Business Minister Lord Callanan also commented: “Good regulation should spur entrepreneurship, not stand in its way, and this project will help keep the UK at the cutting-edge of innovation.
“Supporting innovation by GPs to reduce health inequalities in areas of deprivation, through better regulatory recognition and sharing of best practice, could pave the way for exciting developments in the sector, bringing benefits to practice teams and people using services alike.”