I am aware that the CQC is carrying out ESF for all GP practices. What do I need to do?

24th June 2020

I am aware that the CQC is carrying out ESF for all GP practices. What do I need to do?

I am aware that the CQC is carrying out ESF for all GP practices. What do I need to do?


During the COVID-19 pandemic the CQC have made the decision to stop undertaking planned inspections. This is to reduce the burden on providers and to help limit the spread of the infection. However, the CQC still want to understand the issues, the concerns being experienced by you, provide and signpost support and also have some assurance that during the pandemic the care being provided by you is safe, compassionate and of good quality.

They also want to be able to inform the national picture, to influence strategy and be a voice for you in assisting to address concerns.

To do this they have developed the Emergency Support Framework.

The CQC started using the ESF framework for GP practices from 18th May, and it is expected that over time, all services will receive a call. The call will focus on four main themes. The focus of the questioning is how you have managed the service during the pandemic and mitigated the impact of any concerns you have had:

  1. Safe care and treatment
  2. Staffing arrangements
  3. Protection form abuse
  4. Assurance processes, monitoring and risk management

The questions provide a framework for the CQC to ensure that they are consistent in the way they treat all providers and as such, you will be asked the same questions as all other services.

Even though the CQC ask all the questions, they are clear that the ESF is about having

a ‘two-way conversation’ and giving you the opportunity to let them know what issues you are encountering. This will allow them to understand more about your service and what support the CQC can provide or signpost you towards.

For further information see Emergency support framework: what to expect

*All information is correct at the time of publishing.

What would you like to ask Tracy?

Tracy has worked in general practice management for over 13 years with a passion for turning around vulnerable or struggling practices and making a difference to patients. Tracy has been a Care Quality Commission (CQC) Practice Manager Specialist Adviser since 2014 along with being a peer appraiser, national trainer, dementia friend champion and a trustee board member with her local Healthwatch.

Tracy also worked nationally for 18 months as the General Practice Development and Primary Care Network (PCN) Lead supporting practices, PCNs and federations.

Tracy is a chartered fellow with the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) and a fellow with the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) holding postgraduate qualifications in strategic leadership.

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