Use of quality and safety data within GP Clusters

Informatics for Improvement
Data to support improvement activities in GP Clusters


What we know

The GP contract in Scotland is being radically changed, with a focus on quality improvement through collaborative work in new 'GP Clusters'.   GP clusters are groups of 8-12 practices working in the same area who meet regularly to collaboratively identify and address aspects of care which need improvement.

The Scottish School of Primary Care reviewed the literature on the effectiveness of this kind of approach, and a key element of success is how clusters access and use data about the quality and safety of care.   NHS Scotland recognises that in order for GP Clusters to function as intended, they need support with data analysis; but it is unclear what their data needs are, or how best to provide them with data.

Project aim

Explore how GP clusters can access data and use data to support improvement activities.

What this research explores

This project has currently been suspended due to COVID-19; but will resume interviews and focus groups with a group of GP Clusters and NHS National Services Scotland to identify the best way to support clusters with data for improvement. 

What this study will add

It is hoped that these lessons can be translated to support GP clusters across Scotland and will inform the ongoing developments of Scottish Primary Care Information Resource (SPIRE) and the central role it plays in supporting GP practices in their local improvement activities.


This project is led by Professor Bruce Guthrie, Professor of General Practice, University of Edinburgh, in conjunction with colleagues from NHS National Services Scotland and Primary Care Cluster staff. 

For more information please contact SISCC  (


Shaping the future of primary care – NSS

Primary Care Information – PCI Dashboard

A Guide to Primary Care Data Sources (2018) 

Usher Institute – University of Edinburgh

Scottish School of Primary Care

NHS Research Scotland – Primary Care

Scottish Government – Primary Care Services 

Scottish Patient Safety Programme – Primary Care