Practice managers can take lead CQC role, says regulator

Practice managers can register with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) as long as they are prepared to face the legal consequences, the CQC has said.

Dr Bower: it is up to practices to decide who takes on the role but they should appreciate it comes with legal responsibilities
Dr Bower: it is up to practices to decide who takes on the role but they should appreciate it comes with legal responsibilities

Speaking today at the Commissioning 2012 event in Kensington, London, CQC chief executive Cynthia Bower said that the person identified as each practice's ‘registered manager’ would be legally responsible for care it provides. If there are concerns with a practice this is the person the CQC will ‘pursue’, she said.

Ms Bower also revealed that GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman had volunteered to take part in CQC practice inspection pilots scheduled for July.

The GPC has published guidance warning practices that this person should be a GP partner, but answering a question from the floor at the conference, Ms Bower confirmed that it was possible for practice managers to be the ‘registered manager’.

She said it was up to practices to decide who took on the role but they should appreciate that it came with legal responsibilities.

‘If we choose to pursue you for any reason we need to understand who is legally accountable. If you are the person who is legally responsible then we need to know about any criminal convictions or if you fall foul of the law in any other way,’ Ms Bower said.

Dr Buckman said he was taking part in the pilots, which will influence how future inspections of practices operate, to find out more about the process.

‘I want to see if it’s fit for purpose and as easy to do as they say it is,' Dr Buckman said. ‘There’s no way you can tell people about something unless you have done it.'

Dr Buckman said he would share his experiences publicly, particularly if the process was not up to expectations. ‘You can bet I’ll tell everybody,’ he said.

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