Practices to 'negotiate' over accreditation

Accreditation: GP piloting the RCGP's new quality assessment system says it is 'helpful and developmental'.

Practices will negotiate development goals with a panel of assessors under the RCGP accreditation system that may be adopted by the new NHS regulator, the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The RCGP piloted the Primary Medical Care Provider Accreditation (PMCPA) last summer and announced the results in March.

The system, which looks at quality in non-clinical aspects of care, involves self-assessment and a visit from a three-person team - a GP, a practice manager and a lay assessor.

Professor Nigel Sparrow, whose Nottingham practice was one of 32 practices that piloted PMCPA, told GP newspaper that visits from the PCT-appointed team were helpful. 'It's useful to have an external peer review to confirm where you are,' he said.

The lay assessors are trained, so they understand the set-up of general practice, he added.

The team can suggest areas for development. Professor Sparrow said: 'It sometimes comes up with an idea of where you could go and then it's up for negotiation. If it's not a priority for the practice then it should not set the objectives for you.'

Professor Sparrow, who as chairman of the RCGP's professional development board helped develop the pilot, hoped the system would change before roll-out.

Pilot practices were asked to self-assess and provide evidence against 30 summative criteria. 'That could be slimmed down to avoid duplication,' he said.

The RCGP has said that the 30 criteria are likely to be cut to 20.

Professor Sparrow said if the CQC adopted the system, it would meet regulatory needs, but remain developmental.

Comment below and tell us what you think

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins


Already registered?

Sign in