More than 100 GP practices have been inspected by the CQC since it started regulating primary care in April. Inspections cover a minimum of five CQC essential standards but could cover all 16 standards in some cases.
A practice manager in Hampshire said staff did ‘panic big time before the visit’. But after the seven-hour inspection they reported ‘no trick questions’.
In a report compiled by Surrey and Sussex LMC, the practice manager wrote: ‘The practice declared non-compliant to infection control. We were officially given two days notice for the inspection. The assessor did spend the majority of the day with me in discussions rather than reviewing hard copy policies and procedures.
‘Our building we know is old and does not meet infection control and health and safety on its structural compliance but we can do nothing about this and this was totally appreciated.
‘As long as you have followed all the guidance from CQC and have all the paperwork in place you will meet the set minimum standard. Be honest, there are no trick questions.
'Feedback was given on the day as to any omissions or improvements.’
A practice manager in Somerset quoted in the LMC report said the inspection at the time felt ‘awful’ but added: ‘Now the dust has settled, it doesn't seem too bad as we passed on all counts.'
Inspectors wanted to look through six personnel files to check for necessary paperwork about applications and training.
‘Everything that they looked at was fine, but they advised us to do things with a view to audit everything more,’ they wrote.
‘They spoke to patients in the waiting room, who praised GPs and staff alike.
‘They say it's all to do with patient care, but it's more general running of the business from what I can make of it.
‘One staff member said that she had both inspectors asking questions of her and it was like good cop and bad cop.’
One Bedfordshire practice described its inspection as ‘fair’ and said that briefing staff beforehand had paid off. They wrote: ‘The inspectors are not trying to trick practices. If there is a specialist inspector on the team (a GP or a nurse) they may ask more probing questions.’