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10th October 2014

CQC’s new approach

Glowing question markThe CQC began using a new approach to inspect and regulate GP and GP out-of-hours services on 1 October 2014. The inspections are much more in-depth, using ‘Intelligent Monitoring’ to help them to decide when, where and what to inspect, including listening better to people's experiences of care and using the best information across the system.

5 key questions

Under the new approach the CQC inspectors make their judgement to assess services against five key questions:

  1. Are they safe? – are people protected from abuse and avoidable harm?
  2. Are they effective? – do care, treatment and support achieve good outcomes and promote a good quality of life, based on the best available evidence?
  3. Are they caring? – do staff involve and treat people with compassion, kindness, dignity and respect?
  4. Are they responsive? – are services organised so that they meet people’s needs?
  5. Are they well-led? – does leadership, management and governance of the organisation assure the delivery of high-quality, person-centred care, support learning and innovation, and promote an open and fair culture?

What are KLOEs?

CQC inspection teams will use a standard set of Key Lines of Enquiry (KLOEs) that directly relate to the five key questions asked of all services. KLOEs are supposed to create consistency in what the CQC will look at and focus on specific areas. To enable inspection teams to reach a rating of ‘Outstanding’, ‘Good’, ‘Requires Improvement’ or ‘Inadequate’, they will gather and record evidence in order to answer each KLOE.

Key changes

The key changes to the inspection system:

  • Better, more systematic use of people’s views and experiences, including suggestions and complaints.
  • New expert inspection teams, including trained inspectors, clinical input led by GPs and nurses, practice managers and GP registrars.
  • Inspections of GP out-of-hours services and acute trusts to be incorporated into CCG area programmes.
  • A focus on how general practice is provided to key patient groups, including vulnerable older people and mothers, babies and children.
  • Ratings of all practices designed to help drive improvement and support people’s choice of surgery.Clear standards and guidance to underpin the five key questions we ask of services: are they safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led?

The CQC has updated the information on its website, and the new provider handbook that’s now available (see link below) describes the CQC’s approach to regulating, inspecting and rating NHS GP practices and GP out-of-hours services.

CQC New Approach

CQC Provider Handbook

*All information is correct at the time of publishing. Use of this material is subject to your acceptance of our terms and conditions.

Alison Lowerson

GP Specialist

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