CQC ratings higher for GP practices in north of England

Practices in the south of England and London are less likely to be rated favourably by the CQC than those in the Midlands or the north of England after inspection, analysis by GPonline has revealed.

CQC rating: north of England performing well
CQC rating: north of England performing well

Of the 341 ratings released so far, practices in the north of England are the most likely to be rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’, with an overwhelming majority of 93% achieving one of the top two grades.

Practices in the Midlands and east of England also performed well, with 90% being awarded top ratings.

But the analysis shows that just 82% of practices in the south of England and less than two thirds (63%) of those in London were awarded one of the top ratings.

Map: Find out how your CCG compares in CQC inspections

The results suggest that practices in the south of the country, and particularly those in London, tend to be rated lower by the CQC’s overhauled inspection process than practices in the rest of the country.

So far, a third (30%) of rated practices in the capital have been rated ‘requires improvement’, while just 4% in the north of England and 9% in the Midlands and east of England have received the lower rating. In the south, 17% were rated as ‘requires improvement’.

Practices in London were also proportionally more likely to be flagged up by the CQC, with 7% being rated as ‘inadequate’, compared with just 4% of practices in the north and 1% of practices each in the Midlands and the south.

Chairman Dr Chaand Napgaul said the GPC continued to feel ‘very concerned’ about the CQC’s ‘league table approach’ to practice ratings.

GPC opposes CQC ratings

‘We continue to oppose the whole ratings process,’ he said. ‘We believe that inspections should be about ensuring practices are safe and competent to provide GP services, that’s what the registration process was meant to achieve.’

The CQC publishes batches of practice ratings every two weeks. So far, over 4% of practices have had their rating released, including RCGP chairwoman Dr Maureen Baker’s practice and former GPC negotiator Dr Peter Holden’s.

Data for the whole of England show that the top 3% have been awarded an ‘outstanding’ rating and 84% have been found ‘good’. One in 10 (10%) have been rated as ‘requires improvement’ and 3% have been told they are providing ‘inadequate’ care.

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