Nine out of 10 GP practices good or outstanding as CQC completes first wave of visits

Almost 90% of GP practices have been rated good or outstanding by the CQC after inspectors announced they have now visited every practice in England that was registered before October 2014.

The CQC has now inspected all GP practices that were registered with it when it launched its revamped regime in October 2014 – two months ahead of its end-of-March target – according to the latest quarterly reports.

The watchdog previously said it would inspect and rate all GP practices by this date, after delaying the target two times.

Between October 2014 and 31 January 2017, CQC inspectors undertook 7,705 inspections at GP locations, in addition to a further 689 focused inspections.

The watchdog said it had established a ‘baseline of the quality of care in England' across GP practices for the first time.

Data released on ratings for 6,343 GP practices shows that 88% have achieved good (84%) or outstanding (4%) ratings. One in 10 (10%) are rated requires improvement and 3% are inadequate.

Map: GP CQC ratings

GP practices' performance in CQC inspections outshines that of all other provider types. Three quarters (74%) of adult social care providers have been rated good or outstanding, while just 44% of mental health trusts and 37% of acute trusts won one of the top two ratings.

GP practices scored consistently highly across the CQC’s five key questions that feed into overall ratings. Almost all (96%) practices were rated good or outstanding for being caring, with just 4% failing to reach this mark.

This was closely followed by GP performance for being responsive, with 94% rated good and outstanding in this category, while 91% achieved one of the top two grades for being effective.

For being well-led, 88% were good or outstanding, while the CQC score on safety – which has a good and outstanding rate of 78% – caused slightly more difficulty for practices overall.

The CQC said: ‘Our 2016/17 business plan commitment is to complete the inspection rating programme for adult social care and primary GP locations (that were registered before 1 October 2014) by March 2017.

‘As of 1 February this commitment was met, two months ahead of our public commitment, and in line with our internal stretching target of 31 January.

‘It must be emphasised that for the first time there is a baseline of the quality of care in England across acute and mental health trusts, residential and domiciliary care locations, GP practices, hospices and most of the independent sector.’

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