RCGP to pilot accreditation alternative to star ratings

A new system of accreditation for primary care providers is to be piloted in England from April.

Professor Steve Field
Professor Steve Field

The RCGP is developing an alternative to the ‘licence to operate' that will be required in 2010 under the new regulator, the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The voluntary scheme will be evidence-based and professionally-led, said Professor Sir Steve Field, chairman of the RCGP.

‘There seems to be a desire to do something that is professionally-led, rather than imposed from the outside,' he said.

Four PCTs will pilot the scheme in April, with 40 practices from across England involved. The pilots will last a year, and if they are successful, could be introduced by early 2009.

The scheme will include an accreditation visit to determine standards, self-assessment, and a development plan for improvement.

‘It is about helping practices develop. There will be lots of feedback to help practices improve,' said Professor Field.

tom.ireland@haymarket.com

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