Speaking to Sky News, Professor Steve Field, CQC’s chief inspector of general practice, revealed that a number of ‘failing’ practices have already been found during pilot inspections which took place over the last few months.
He suggested that 2% of practices, up to 200 across the country, could be at risk of receiving an ‘inadequate’ rating, meaning they could face intervention from the overhauled scheme’s new special measures system.
He added that ‘a handful’ of these practices could be shut down straight away as a result of ‘serious failings’.
The figures were based on preliminary results from pilot inspections which ran from April to June this year. The new scheme will be rolled out nationally this Wednesday.
Professor Field said that ‘the vast majority of practices are absolutely fine’.
He told Sky News: ‘While there is a small number of practices which are very worrying – probably looking at only about 2% – they can affect hundreds or thousands of patients potentially. So this is very serious.
‘For the small number of practices [providing unsafe care] they will either improve or they will cease to practice. We will remove their registration.
‘General practice is the jewel in our crown and we're undermined by a small percentage of GPs who are not providing the care our patients deserve.’