CQC Could Put Struggling GPs In 'Special Measures'

Ofsted-Style Ratings Proposed For Practices

19.01.2015

Failing GPs who do not make improvements could be placed under Ofsted-style “special measures”, even in cases where patient safety is not a concern.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) wants to have the power to enforce rescue packages on struggling surgeries, following a pilot inspection programme in October last year.

The plans, which are proposed to take effect from April 2015, mean that any surgery that fails an inspection due to management issues could be placed in special measures. The surgeries then risk being shut down if they do not show improvement.

Professor Steve Field, Chief Inspector of General Practice at the CQC, said the authority would only cancel a GP's registration under exceptional circumstances and the priority will be to help the practice recover.

“In these situations we will work closely with NHS England, who will ensure that people registered at that practice continue to have access to safe and high-quality general practice,” he said.

Expert Opinion
Patient care should always be a top priority for those in the medical industry and we would welcome an improved inspection process for GP surgeries. The Ofsted-style inspections and ratings have been introduced in other care areas by the CQC and it is vital all services are judged by the same standards.

“All too often we see patients’ health and safety put at risk by failings within GP surgeries, with incidents often having long-term consequences for patients. Any measures that can improve the services patients are able to access is a positive step and it is important these improved inspections and powers are implemented.”
Mandy Luckman, Partner