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30th May 2016

Not Had Your Inspection Yet? Be Prepared!

The CQC Notification

We had our CQC inspection this week and if it hadn’t have been for the fact that we were notified of the visit the day before we were to move to a new clinical computer system (SystmOne) we might not have felt quite so anxious about our impending visit! Whilst everything we do is in preparation for an inspection there’s nothing like a deadline to bring all those things on the ‘to do’ list to the ‘to do right now’ list. For those who haven’t had their inspection yet I urge you to be prepared because the CQC could visit at any time, even when there seems to be something more important going on in the practice.

Get Organised

The list of documentation and information they want to see in advance, as well as on the day, seems daunting at first. I made a list of what was required by the lead inspector within one week and then we worked on what the inspecting team wanted to see on the day. Unfortunately this meant that I was unable to support my staff as fully as I had wanted to during those first crucial days of moving to a new clinical system and the stress levels amongst the team were understandably high.

Tick Things off Your List

My tips for preparing to tick things off your list include:

  • Review your last infection control audit – update your action plan if necessary.
  • Review your Health & Safety – check Risk Assessments, COSHH assessments, fire alarm and emergency lighting checks are all up to date.
  • Review your staff files – make sure information such as CV/application form, references, DBS check records, proof of ID, induction records, appraisal records, training records, etc are all there and readily accessible.
  • Review significant events & complaints – make sure they correspond to relevant meetings as evidence they were discussed with the team, and what the learning and any changes were.
  • Review your emergency equipment & drugs – there must be a list of everything on a check sheet with a record of the expiry date, when it was checked and by whom. Check defibrillator pads are in date and there are pads for children as well as adults.


You have the opportunity to showcase the things your Practice does really well in the 30 minute presentation at the beginning of the day. It’s also vital to highlight the areas you know you need to improve on, the CQC will appreciate that you know this in advance of them picking up on it. I also provided a brief 5-year plan; this was an opportunity for us to describe the great things we want to do to in the future. The BMA has plenty of really useful information with other tips to prepare for your inspection so get started now!



Alison Lowerson – QCS Expert GP Practice Manager Contributor

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