CQC rejects call to halt inspections, claiming 'well-managed' practices can cope

The CQC has rejected calls from the RCGP and GPC to halt its GP inspections, warning that 'some seriously deficient' practices put patients at risk.

Professor Steve Field: CQC ratings will not stop (Photo: Pete Hill)
Professor Steve Field: CQC ratings will not stop (Photo: Pete Hill)

CQC chief inspector of general practice Professor Steve Field said the watchdog was ‘extremely disappointed’ that the RCGP issued its call for an ‘emergency pause’ in its inspections.

The RCGP and GPC both called for immediate suspension of CQC inspections on Tuesday, claiming they were piling extra demands on practices ‘close to meltdown’.

But Professor Field said inspections should not pose any difficulty for ‘well-managed practices’.

While over one in seven practices has been rated either ‘requires improvement’ or ‘inadequate’, it would not be right to put a halt on inspections, he added.

Read more: CQC maps and stats

‘The safety and quality of care of people who use these services continue to be our number one priority,’ he said.

‘Already our inspections have allowed us to rate over 1,100 general practices across the country as "outstanding", "good", "requires improvement" and "inadequate".  We believe these can help people to make informed choices about their care.

‘So far, around 85% of these general practices have been either "good" or "outstanding".

‘However, when over one in seven general practices are not delivering the care that patients have every right to expect, now is not the time for us to put a halt on our inspections.

‘In the last few weeks alone, we have found some seriously deficient primary care, which has led to us cancelling the registrations of some practices, in the interests of protecting the safety and quality of care for people who use these services.

‘As a practising GP, I have never intended for our inspections to be experienced as a burden to those in the profession – and for a well-managed practice, the information we ask them to provide should not present itself as one.’

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