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Government softens stance on quality ratings scheme

The Government's GP tsar has signalled a softening of stance over threatened increased scrutiny for practices that refuse to participate in its planned accreditation scheme.

Speaking after the launch of his Keeping it Personal report, Dr David Colin-Thome said he was 'in conversation' with other GPs about the proposed accreditation scheme, and that plans had not moved beyond that point.

But he stressed the scheme would be voluntary and suggested it may be left to patients to use it as a tool for choice, with practices declining to take part finding that patients began to ask why they had not been accredited.

Dr Colin-Thome's remarks suggest a change in approach since then health minister Lord Warner said last November that practices refusing to take part should expect their PCTs to be 'rigorous about contracts'.

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