GP ratings ruled out for first wave of new CQC inspections

Practices in the first 12 CCG areas to undergo checks under a revamped CQC inspection scheme will not receive ratings, the watchdog has revealed.

Professor Steve Field: revamped inspection regime (photo: Jason Heath Lancy)
Professor Steve Field: revamped inspection regime (photo: Jason Heath Lancy)

Practices in Brighton and Hove, North East Essex, Cumbria, Enfield, Tameside and Glossop, Lincolnshire West, West Kent, West Cheshire, Merton, West London, South Warwickshire and Dorset will be the first to be inspected since chief inspector of primary care Professor Steve Field began an overhaul of the CQC inspection regime.

Between April and June 2014, 25% of practices in these areas will be inspected by the watchdog, along with out-of-hours organisations.

A spokesman for the CQC said the areas due for inspection had been chosen to provide a wide geographical spread, and that some inspections would link up with local hospital assessments.

In those cases, the CQC may hold public ‘listening’ events to gauge public opinion on NHS services across primary and secondary care.

The spokesman said no ratings would be awarded from this wave of inspections because the CQC will be assessing ‘what works’ and ‘looking at hos the inspection translates into a usable rating’.

‘We need to make sure that practices get the same judgments across large multisite practices and smaller providers,’ he said.

Part of the reform promised under Professor Field involves all inspection teams including a GP. The CQC spokesman said the watchdog would also use these early visits to assess involvement of patients in inspections.

The CQC expects to consult on potential ratings systems and models for inspections in April.

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