Following widespread anger among GPs over the scheme (GP, 9 June), RCGP chairman Dr Mayur Lakhani has now said that the college will suspend talks with the DoH and spend more time on consultation.
The RCGP said in a statement that it 'wishes to reiterate that its practice accreditation systems are voluntary and developmental and that it has never advocated their use for star ratings'.
Dr Lakhani also said that the system must not be used for 'punishment and blame' as some had feared.
The scheme would have included three levels of accreditation for practices, based on the RCGP's existing voluntary schemes.
GPC chairman Dr Hamish Meldrum accused the RCGP of 'reinventing the wheel' and said that there had not been any consultation with the GPC over the plans (GP, 9 June).
Dr Lakhani said that he now wanted more consultation and would 'particularly like to hear from patient groups' because the RCGP should be focused on providing better care for patients.
He added that while it was right to review the scheme, he did not want to abandon it because it would be a 'really big problem' if the DoH imposed regulation.
An RCGP Council working group, including representatives from patients and the GPC, will review the project. Recommendations will be considered by the RCGP Council in September.