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Advancing an understanding of access as ‘human fit’: A qualitative participatory case study in general practice

Voorhees, Jennifer, Bailey, Simon, Waterman, Heather, Checkland, Kath (2022) Advancing an understanding of access as ‘human fit’: A qualitative participatory case study in general practice. British Journal of General Practice, . ISSN 0960-1643. (KAR id:95807)

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Background Good access to primary care is an important determinant of population health. While the academic literature on access to care emphasises its complexity, policies aimed at improving access to general practice in the UK have tended to focus on measurable aspects, such as timeliness or number of appointments.

Aim To fill the gap between the complex understanding of primary care access in the literature and the narrow definition of access assumed in UK policies.

Design and setting Qualitative, community-based participatory case study within the geographic footprint of a clinical commissioning group in the north west of England. Data collection took place from October 2015 to October 2016. Purposive sampling and snowball approaches were used to achieve maximum variation among service users and providers across general practice settings.

Method Levesque et al’s conceptual framework of patient-centred access was applied and the study used multiple qualitative methods (interviews, focus groups, and observation). Analysis was ongoing, iterative, inductive, and abductive with the theory.

Results The comprehensiveness of Levesque et al’s access theory resonated with diverse participant experiences. However, while its strength was to highlight the importance of people’s abilities to access care, this study’s data suggest equal importance of healthcare workforce abilities to make care accessible. Thus, the authors present a definition of access as the ‘human fit’ between the needs and abilities of people in the population and the abilities and capacity of people in the healthcare workforce, and provide a modified conceptual framework reflecting these insights.

Conclusion An understanding of access as ‘human fit’ has the potential to address longstanding problems of access within general practice, focusing attention on the need for staff training and support, and emphasising the importance of continuity of care.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research > Centre for Health Services Studies
Depositing User: Simon Bailey
Date Deposited: 14 Jul 2022 13:27 UTC
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2022 12:27 UTC
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