Article Text

Download PDFPDF
RCGP Quality Team Development programme: an illuminative evaluation
  1. F Macfarlane1,
  2. T Greenhalgh2,
  3. T Schofield3,
  4. T Desombre1
  1. 1School of Management, University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey, UK
  2. 2Department of Primary Health Care, University College London, London, UK
  3. 3General Practitioner, Shipston on Stour, Warwickshire, UK and Chairman of RCGP Quality Team Development Programme Steering Group
  1. Correspondence to:
 Mr F Macfarlane
 School of Management, University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey GU2 7XH, UK;


Background: There is increasing interest in quality initiatives that are locally owned and delivered, team based, multiprofessional, and formative. The Royal College of General Practitioners’ Quality Team Development (QTD) programme is one such initiative aimed at developing primary healthcare teams and their services.

Aims: To evaluate QTD from the perspective of participants and assessors.

Setting: UK primary health care.

Design and method: Twelve of 14 practices and all four primary care organisations (PCOs) approached agreed to participate. Thirty four semi-structured interviews were conducted with key stakeholders. The interviews were taped, transcribed, and analysed using the constant comparative method.

Results: The QTD programme appears to be highly valued by participating organisations. Practice based respondents perceived it as acceptable and feasible, and reported positive changes in teamwork and patient services. They valued its formative, participative, and multiprofessional nature, especially the peer review element. PCOs saw QTD as a method of delivering on prevailing national policies on clinical quality and modernisation agendas as well as promoting interorganisational collaboration. The main concerns raised were the workload, particularly for assessors, and maintaining the quality of the assessments and the programme.

Conclusion: This qualitative study suggests positive benefits for participants in the QTD programme. However, such practices are a self-selecting innovative minority. Further research is needed on more typical practices to identify barriers to their participation in QTD or other formative, team based quality improvement programmes.

  • quality improvement
  • Quality Team Development (QTD) programme
  • general practice

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


Linked Articles

  • Quality lines
    BMJ Publishing Group Ltd