'A CQC inspection should not be a burden for a well-managed practice'
The CQC’s chief inspector of general practice, Professor Steve Field, responds to the RCGP’s call for an immediate halt to the regulator’s inspections
We are extremely disappointed that the RCGP has called for an ‘emergency pause’ to our inspections of general practices, which we carry out to make sure that people across England get safe, high-quality and compassionate primary care. The safety and quality of care of people who use these services continue to be our number one priority.
Already our inspections have allowed us to rate over 1,100 general practices across the country as Outstanding, Good, Requires Improvement and Inadequate. We believe these can help people to make informed choices about their care.
So far, around 85% of these general practices have been either Good or Outstanding.
However, when over one in seven general practices are not delivering the care that patients have every right to expect, now is not the time for us to put a halt on our inspections. In the last few weeks alone, we have found some seriously deficient primary care, which has led to us cancelling the registrations of some practices, in the interests of protecting the safety and quality of care for people who use these services.
As a practising GP, I have never intended for our inspections to be experienced as a burden to those in the profession – and for a well-managed practice, the information we ask them to provide should not present itself as one.
Professor Steve Field, chief inspector of general practice at the CQC