Flawed CQC risk ratings must be scrapped, says GPC

GP leaders have demanded the withdrawal of the CQC's controversial risk rating system after 60 practices publicly labelled 'high risk' were downgraded to lower risk categories in a dramatic U-turn by the watchdog.

GPC chairman Dr Chaand Nagpaul: withdraw CQC risk scores (Photo: JH Lancy)
GPC chairman Dr Chaand Nagpaul: withdraw CQC risk scores (Photo: JH Lancy)

The CQC's decision to publish data placing every practice in England in one of six risk categories before it has inspected them has left GPs furious.

Just three weeks after publishing the data, which led to one in six practices in the country being labelled as 'failing' by national media and triggered hundreds of negative local media stories, the CQC announced it has dropped a series of indicators.

Poll: should the CQC's chief inspector of GPs resign?

A total of 60 practices previously labelled high risk have now been moved into lower risk bands, while seven previously in lower risk groups have been moved into higher risk categories.

GPC chairman Dr Chaand Nagpaul said the flawed ratings system was doing 'serious harm' to practices' reputation.

'Today’s admission by the CQC that they are having to recalculate all of their pre-inspection data highlights the concerns that the BMA raised that this risk rating system is not fit for purpose. We now know that due to errors in the CQC’s methodology 60 practices have been unfairly branded as being at risk, potentially doing serious harm to their reputation.

'The chopping and changing of target indicators which has resulted in a different risk banding being allocated to GP practices demonstrates the problems of using limited skewed data, rather than adopting a transparent approach. The CQC has also reiterated that these bandings are not a reflection of the quality of care a practice provides, a fact that means the inspection regime could even in its revised state mislead the public. The banding system as a whole needs to be withdrawn.

Serious harm to GPs' reputation

'We warned at the time that simplistic targets would fail to take into account the enormous pressures GP practices are facing, and that skewed and limited information does not tell us about the quality of care.

'These failings have the potential to seriously undermine the trust in the system and patients’ confidence in their GP and it is only right that all of those practices affected are now contacted and receive a full apology.'

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Government outlines PPE supply plans as GPs remain in dark over reimbursement

Government outlines PPE supply plans as GPs remain in dark over reimbursement

The government has outlined plans to provide 'an uninterrupted supply' of PPE during...

Four in five GPs report heavy workload as COVID-19 second wave builds

Four in five GPs report heavy workload as COVID-19 second wave builds

Four in five GPs say their practice is currently facing levels of workload that are...

Medeconomics Live: Bringing you the latest in practice management thinking

Medeconomics Live: Bringing you the latest in practice management thinking

The one-day, virtual Medeconomics Live conference aims to provide essential insights...

First COVID-19 jabs to target care home residents and staff under new JCVI advice

First COVID-19 jabs to target care home residents and staff under new JCVI advice

Older adults living in care homes and staff working there will be first to receive...

GPs unable to veto virtual fitness to practise hearings during pandemic

GPs unable to veto virtual fitness to practise hearings during pandemic

GPs facing fitness to practise investigations during the COVID-19 pandemic will be...

Government rejects major NHSPS overhaul - but changes 'could ease GP service charge disputes'

Government rejects major NHSPS overhaul - but changes 'could ease GP service charge disputes'

A government review has rejected calls for a major overhaul of an NHS Property Services...