Exclusive: GPs split on displaying CQC rating in practices

GPs are divided on government proposals for practices to display their CQC ratings in surgeries, a poll by GP magazine has found.

Waiting room: practices could be forced to display CQC rating (Photo: JH Lancy)
Waiting room: practices could be forced to display CQC rating (Photo: JH Lancy)

A survey of more than 440 GPs found that 42% oppose DH proposals to make it a legal requirement for practices to display their Osted-style CQC rating in waiting rooms, while 39% thought practices should be made to put the rating on display. The remaining GPs were undecided.

The first CQC ratings were published this week, with two practices in Salford achieving an ‘outstanding’ mark. All practices in England are due to be inspected within two years, and the ratings will stand for three years.

Meanwhile, the CQC has come under fire this week for publishing a map that places every practice in England into risk categories, ranking them from 'highest risk' to 'lowest risk'. The CQC claimed the ratings were 'not a judgment' on practices, but the data have triggered a wave of negative reports about practices - most of which have yet to be inspected by the watchdog.

The BMA opposed any requirement on practices to display their rating, which could range from ‘outstanding’ to ‘inadequate’, arguing that such a simple system could mask areas of good, or bad, practice.

Practice ratings published

Each practice’s rating, which is based on a series of five key questions assessed by the CQC, will also be published online just a day after GPs at a practice are told how they fared.

One GP taking part in our poll, said: ‘Such things are of little interest to most patients and there would need to be a lengthy explanation of the ratings which most patients would not be bothered to read or understand anyway.’

Another GP wrote: ‘I have no faith that CQC represents anything meaningful. I think a lot of money is wasted on duplicate performance tables. While we should be accountable, this could be centralised through our referrals/access etc. rather than whether our doors all have the correct signs on them.’

But one other GP commented: ‘We should not be afraid of the CQC. General practice in the UK is of the highest standard and I welcome anything that guides me to become better.’

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