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Independents' Day

CQC chief inspector: no 'concessions' will be made for GP capacity issues

Exclusive The CQC is 'not going to be making any concessions' for GP practices during inspections, despite acknowledging the pressures facing the sector, the watchdog’s new chief inspector of primary care has said.

Earlier this month, in its annual report on the state of health and adult social care in England, the CQC said that a 'large group of GP practices' have deteriorated to a lower rating due to 'ongoing capacity pressures'. 

But in an interview with Pulse, Dr Rosie Benneyworth, CQC chief inspector of primary medical services, revealed the regulator would not be loosening its approach to regulation.

Instead the CQC will be focussing more on how practices work with other services in their area because this could help to solve some of the pressures facing GPs, she said.

Dr Benneyworth said she wants GPs to see the CQC as a ‘critical friend’ that can ‘put a mirror up’ to practices to show where improvements are needed.

She said: 'We’re not going to be making concessions, ultimately our purpose is to ensure that patients get high quality and safe care.

'We know that practices are under huge demand and that’s making it very challenging. 

'But we are seeing different practices in different parts of the country really address those challenges by remodeling what they’re doing within their practice, working in conjunction with partner agencies across the local area, thinking about what their population needs are and how they can respond to those.'

She added: 'The thing that we’re already starting to test out, but we’re looking at how we can expand, is actually when we look at our inspection's key lines of enquiry, how much are people working in partnership with other organisations around them?'

Dr Benneyworth said in particular health services working with social care organisations was 'crucial'.

She added: ‘Where I’d like to get to is that we are seen as part of the solution to practices improving - that we’re able to be seen as a critical friend who goes in, who can actually put a mirror up to the practice and help them identify where their priorities for improvement should be.’

Meanwhile, she said the CQC’s new approach of phoning highly-rated practices every year instead of inspecting them as often had helped to ‘build relationships between inspector and practice’.

She said: ‘It started to enable our inspectors to have a much better understanding of the context and the changes that are happening within the local area and within the practice. And it’s hopefully going to breakdown some of those barriers between the CQC and practices going forward.’


Readers' comments (51)

  • Vinci Ho

    With all due respect, Dr Bennyworth , if you are reading these comments from our colleagues on this platform , you need to understand why there is such an amount of negativity towards what you said . I would even understand if you thought the title of this article was rather unfair and judgmental on CQC.
    But ( always a but) , deep frozen ice three feet below is never down to one day cold . Every story has its beginning and ending .
    The reality is that there is a deeply frozen relationship between CQC and our frontline GP colleagues and ,
    the government and your establishment need to do far better than this to repair the damages. The retention and recruitment crisis of GP and the recognition of the how important GPs are , simply reinforce my slogan , ‘ the government needs GPs more than we need it.’

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  • we have a new 2,700 house estate being built near our practice which is already bursting with 16,000 patients. this will add another 9000. How on earth are we supposed to cope with this and a tiny building designed to house 9000 patients originally. What other agencies are going to sort this out if we work with them.
    What utter nonsense from the CQC...

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  • Perhaps HSL will come to the rescue with her social prescribing academy! Or not. Again those in the rarified air seem to have lost their marbles.......if there is not enough resource i.e. units of workforce time - it doesnt matter how you reorganise your will still not be able to match demand..... and they wonder why GPs wont return from abroad? We down have any of this regulatory rubbish beyond the 3 year CPD cycle, and yet the system works BETTER than the UK. I think if we are look for cost efficiency and allocating resources appropriately, getting rid of CQC would be a good start. In terms of breaking down barriers, the CQC would need to get some up pretty quickly before the GP masses rise up with their pitchforks when they've had enough..... CQC, GMC, RCGP, PCNs..... whatever! I have said it for years.... mass resignations people.... mass resignations.... until you have the bravery to do so you'll just be ignored by those at the top who know the cardigans are too institutionalised and accepting of the abuse that is heaped upon them....they wont fight back....... GPs in the UK need a 'MeToo' movement... or plane tickets to Canada and New Zealand...... either way make a decision and leave the CQC talking to themselves in their mirror..... you know..... 7 years bad luck just might be worth it....

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  • The CQC need to pretend that they’re doing something worthwhile otherwise they’d be out of a job. They need to act in a punitive way as the government’s enforcer in order to validate their very existence. Very predictable

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  • Did you expect anything different from Dr Stoogio?

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  • So the CQC can blame practices with under recruitment - or blame the department of health who are the ones actually tasked with making sure there are enough GPs.

    They are choosing to blame individual practices rather than central government.

    This definitely is not related to the fact that central government appoint and pay the people in charge of the CQC.

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  • #HostileEnvironment. This cannot end well.

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  • Make your life easier do what the CQC want. Structure your sessions to reflect the time needed for "quality improvement" Our union lacks any teeth so fighting is pointless. Meet your contractual requirements and nothing else.

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