The RCGP is in the process of devising an accreditation scheme that is ‘voluntary, developmental and supportive’. But health minister Lord Warner said last week that PCTs would be ‘more vigorous with contracts’ of practices failing to take part. A DoH spokesman has since confirmed that he stood by the remarks.
GPC negotiator Dr Richard Vautrey said the minister’s comments were ‘not helpful’, but the GPC was ‘a long way from telling anyone not to take part’.
The RCGP issued a statement saying it would like to ‘distance itself’ from the remarks from Lord Warner: ‘The college and GPC have asked for an urgent meeting with Lord Warner to discuss their concerns and to ensure that any pilot scheme is progressed in line with college policy.’
A college spokesman said: ‘Following approval in principle by RCGP Council, we are in the early stages of developing a possible scheme of primary medical care provider accreditation that is voluntary, developmental and supportive of practices.
‘We are currently working with our key stakeholders, including the GPC, to develop proposals for a pilot project aimed at all providers of primary medical care to ensure that patients can expect to receive quality care, regardless of the type of provider.
‘No formal agreement has yet been reached. In advance of the pilots it is too early to discuss how this could be delivered in the future. We must emphasise the voluntary nature of the scheme and, in view of this, do not feel it is appropriate to link it to contractual monitoring, which is a matter for the GPC and not the RCGP.’