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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)

  • Hello Bennyworth - and who excatly puts a mirror upto the CQC?
    Typical arms-length bodies trying to shirk from the reality and vainly attempting to prove thier exsistence(sorry 6 figure salary.

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  • Dear All,
    It is absolutely staggering that she can utter these words within days of her own organisations report recognising the realities and extent of the GP capacity problems.
    Clearly someone who believes in the beatings continuing until morale improves. On a score of "How to connect with those you regulate?", are negatives allowed?
    Paul C

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  • Then we shall make no concessions to them?

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  • I wonder if the BMA could take the CQC to court for breaching the human rights act in their dealing with doctors ?

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  • If somebody tells you they are a critical for the hills. I would consider myself a critical foe of the CQC.

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  • Took Early Retirement

    CQC, like the GMC: lower than vermin. Shut some more practices and see how that helps? Why not start in Ramsgate?

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  • I may be bucking the trend here, but I think the CQC is in some way correct.

    If something is brown and smelly, no matter what you dress it up as, it will remain brown and smelly. Calling it good or outstanding will not make it any less brown or any less smelly.

    I believe we are all trying to do our best for patients with inadequate resources and growing demand, but if we are calling a 3 to 4 week wait for an appointment, 10 minutes per consultation when we need 15, probably 20 minutes, and 40 to 60 patient contacts daily, a good or excellent service, then we are deluded and complicit.

    This is not what I want to offer, but this is the level we have been funded to. Sorry.

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  • So Matthew, you think you should be given a poor grade because you're snowed under and can't keep up with demand even though you could be doing lots of excellent work? Well thats morale building... and another good reason for medical students not to choose general practice....... you can't keep flogging yourselves to be reprimanded call the CQC a useful service...... ask yourself what is the point of the CQC? What has it really achieved? Does anyone think standards have increased under CQC? absolutely not.... the data proves it... to improve the service you need a well resourced system with motivated team members..... oh look what we haven't got..... hence I moved to Australia.... the future was completely obvious, the GP leaders clearly impotent..... it will take a proper crisis for anything to change.... are you happy taking the blame for when the overstretched system fails? Because thats where many GPs are headed..... not because of their fault.... but because of deflection of blame to avoid the government taking responsibility for the real issues.... they could institute a statute of limitations.... but they dont..... the CQC is simply another smokescreen to shift the focus and blame.......

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  • Big bucks Benneyworth.

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  • CQC should be there to help, not shut down practices. CQC has a large funding and manpower resource- let have some of this on the frontline.

    Their resource needs to be put into practices in areas such as Plymouth to prevent GP services collapsing. GPs don't need to be taken "out of class" for long periods of time to be "told to do better".

    We need an input of additional hands on the pumps. CQC staff could actually be useful - rather than filling in reports and tying up frontline staff in meetings.

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