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CQC Registration One Year On
What a year it has been, especially since April 2013 all providers of primary medical services should have been registered with the CQC. When providers apply for registration with the CQC they must specify which regulated activities they provide.
There are 15 regulated activities that can trigger the need to register with CQC:
- Personal care
- Accommodation for people who require nursing or personal care
- Accommodation for people who require treatment for substance misuse
- Accommodation and nursing or personal care in the further education sector
- Treatment of disease, disorder or injury
- Assessment or medical treatment for people detained under the Mental Health Act 1983
- Surgical procedures
- Diagnostic and screening procedures
- Management of supply of blood and blood derived products
- Transport services, triage and medical advice provided remotely
- Maternity and midwifery services
- Termination of pregnancies
- Services in slimming clinics
- Nursing care
- Family planning services
What are the benefits of CQC registration?
Although CQC wasn’t popular at first there are in fact many positives of being registered with the CQC. Providers are able to assure patients, commissioners and the Government that they are delivering the kind of quality and safe care everyone has the right to receive. If providers are meeting the essential standards, then their staff can be reassured that they'll be supported to provide care and treatment to patients. CQC checks on standards focus on the outcomes that patients' should experience. CQC don’t focus quite as much on the policies, systems and processes but it’s still an important part of the evidence required.
Patients can be assured that practices are inspected regularly and are meeting the standards they should be able to expect. The information that the CQC publish will help patients make informed choices about where they receive care and what they can expect. Patients should experience consistent standards of care, whether they're receiving health or social care, because the essential standards apply to all health and social care services.
How did we do?
The CQC has reported 280 results from their checks on Doctors/GPs and 265 of those were for GP Practices. 190 of those Practices met all of the essential standards, 70 Practices did not meet all the standards, and 5 Practices had enforcement action taken against them. One the whole 71% of GP Practices met all the standards but there are of course consequences for those who don’t.
If the CQC find that services are failing to meet the national standards that people should be able to expect issued then a formal warning may be issued telling the provider that they must improve in those areas by a specified date. If the required improvements are not made within the set timescale, CQC has a range of enforcement powers which include restricting the services that a provider can offer, or, in the most serious cases, suspending or cancelling a service. CQC can also issue financial penalty notices and cautions, or prosecute the provider for failing to meet national standards.
What happens next?
Although providers don’t have to register with the CQC every year they do need to keep their registration with the CQC up to date. If providers want to make changes to their registration - for example to regulated activities, locations, partners or conditions, this can be done online through the CQC website.
There will be a change from this year in the way that GP and Out of Hours providers will be inspected, have a look at the link below for a timeline and the top 10 changes. I think one of the key benefits to Practices is that there will be expert inspection teams including trained inspectors, clinical input led by GPs and nurses, practice managers and GP Registrars.
Alison Lowerson – QCS Expert GP Practice Manager Contributor