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21st April 2016

The CQC Needs to Get Its Skates On

Inadequate targets

The CQC’s progress on GP visits is 'inadequate' and ‘requires improvement’ after failing to achieve inspection targets during 2015/16. Recently the CQC had extended its own deadline by a further 6 months for inspecting all 7,600 GP practices which puts their target now at 31 March 2017. Considering all GP Practices in England should have been inspected, under the new regime by October 2016, the CQC had clearly underestimated the amount of work involved and the timescales for dealing with re-visits.

Over half of practices still awaiting inspection

In September 2015 the CQC had only visited about 20% of Practices. In the last 6 months that figure has still only risen to 39% and, with a further 10 months left until the revised deadline, this still means over half of practices are still awaiting their inspection. This is not a pleasant position to be in for many Practices who just want the CQC to come and get their inspection over and done with, for most it will be a huge weight off their shoulders when it’s finally over.

It’s not all bad

However, the good news is that CQC inspections have found that the vast majority of practices in England are providing 'good' or 'outstanding' care, but a study by GPonline has revealed regional variation in ratings. The CQC has inspected over 3,200 GP practices now and, with 85% rated 'good' or 'outstanding', 11% 'requires improvement' and just 4% 'inadequate' that doesn’t seem too bad I suppose.

What does the CQC have to say about it?

Recently, a spokesperson for the CQC said: ‘At the CQC board meeting in January, a commitment was made to completing the comprehensive inspection baseline programme in all sectors before the 31 March 2017 deadline. Inspection trajectories show that we are on track to achieve this.’  Although lately the CQC has been releasing around 250 GP inspection reports per month, it must now increase this significantly in order to hit the target of rating all practices by March 2017. With just under 400 primary medical services inspected in January, this suggests that this may be achievable, however we’ll wait and see if this target need to be revised again.


GP Online:

Alison Lowerson – QCS Expert GP Practice Manager Contributor

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