Exclusive: Just one GP practice improved overall rating after CQC challenge

Just one GP practice has had its overall CQC rating improved after requesting a review of the original score it received from the watchdog.

CQC data obtained by GPonline through a freedom of information request, reveal that just one out of a total six formal reviews carried out on practices’ requests resulted in an improvement to their rating.

The Alverton Practice in Penzance, Cornwall, went from good to outstanding following the review process, while the others – three of which were rated 'good', one 'requires improvement' and one 'inadequate' – remained the same.

A total of 41 practices have requested to have their rating reviewed since the CQC launched its revamped inspection regime almost two years ago. The majority were originally rated good.

Of the requests, 14 resulted in reviews that are still in progress – but half (21 practices, 51%) were denied an official review by the CQC.

Map: CQC GP ratings

The watchdog said this was because it considered that most of the challenges ‘did not meet grounds for review’. Three were denied due to the request being made either too late or withdrawn.

GP practices are allowed to challenge their rating within five days of their report being published, but only if they can show that the ‘CQC did not follow the process for making ratings decisions and aggregating them’.

They cannot request reviews on the grounds they disagree with the CQC’s judgments, which should be dealt with before the report’s final publication, the watchdog said.

Around 5,000 practices have been rated by the CQC to date – over half of those in the country overall.

Of these, 4% were found to be outstanding, 82% good, 11% requires improvement and 4% inadequate.

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