CQC vows to inspect 800 practices and out-of-hours services by January

The CQC has pledged to inspect 778 practices and out-of-hours services by the end of this year under its new inspection regime.

Professor Nigel Sparrow
Professor Nigel Sparrow

Professor Nigel Sparrow, the watchdog’s senior national GP advisor, announced the plan at the 2014 RCGP annual conference in Liverpool.

The CQC’s new inspection scheme, which launched nationally this month, aims to provide every practice with a rating, from ‘inadequate’ to ‘outstanding’, by April 2016.

It suggests the CQC may need to increase the rate at which it inspects practices next year to hit this target.

Professor Sparrow said inspection would be an opportunity to 'demonstrate what's good in your practice' to the CQC - which met with mixed responses from GPs at the conference.

He said practices should think of it as a ‘practice appraisal’, and prepare information to show where they think they excel and how they could improve.

Practices will receive two weeks' notice of their inspection date. Each CCG area will be warned four weeks ahead of the CQC’s arrival. The CQC can, however, arrive unannounced should particular problems arise.

Professor Sparrow said the CQC could improve by ensuring inspections had a greater focus on positive and outstanding outcomes. He said it was also working on making inspections more structured to reduce the time commitment for practices.

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