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Primary healthcare teams’ views on using mortality data to review clinical policies
  1. Emma Sullivan1,
  2. Richard Baker1,
  3. David Jones1,
  4. Hanna Blackledge2,
  5. Aly Rashid3,
  6. Azhar Farooqi4,
  7. Justin Allen5
  1. 1Department of Health Sciences, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK
  2. 2Public Health Directorate, Leicester PCT, Leicester, UK
  3. 3De Montfort University, Leicester, UK
  4. 4East Leicester Medical Practice, Leicester, UK
  5. 5Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Rutland Postgraduate Deanery, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 Professor Richard Baker
 Department of Health Sciences, University of Leicester, 22-28 Princess Rd West, Leicester LE1 6TP, UK; rb14{at}


Background and objective: A UK-wide scheme to monitor mortality in general practices has been recommended to improve safety. A monitoring scheme might also have a role in improving quality by informing clinical policies. This study investigated the views of primary care teams on the desirable characteristics of mortality data to help them review and plan their clinical policies.

Setting: 10 general practices in Leicestershire, UK.

Methods: Development of a format for presentation of mortality data for primary care teams, presentations of the data to team meetings, and subsequent interviews of 16 general practitioners and nurses to identify issues about the improvement and use of the data for informing clinical policies.

Results: The presentation was important in helping teams to understand the data. Comparisons should be between practices with similar patient populations, and information provided on deaths from diseases potentially amenable to prevention through clinical intervention. Practice teams used the data in reflecting on their own clinical care.

Conclusions: Presentation of data about mortality in practice populations can enable practices to reflect on their clinical policies. The proposed national scheme for monitoring mortality should provide data in a format that helps teams to improve the quality of care as well as improve patient safety.

  • GP, general practitioner
  • PCT, primary care trust
  • QOF, quality of outcomes framework
  • SMR, standard mortality ratio

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  • Funding: The study was funded by Medisearch.

  • Competing interests: None.

  • Ethical approval: The study was approved by the Leicestershire local research ethics committee.