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CQC overhauls risk rating indicators as GPC declares scheme a 'shambles'

The CQC has overhauled a number of indicators used in its risk ratings scheme, which GPC has said demonstrates the continuing ‘shambles’ of the intelligent monitoring initiative.

The regulator has announced on its website that it is changing indicators relating to the GP Patient Survey meaning that 60 practices given a initial risk rating of 1 or 2 will now be declared to be not a potential risk, and will be informed on Monday.

However, seven practices will also be given a higher risk rating as a result of the changes.

It comes after a huge backlash from the profession after the CQC published the ratings on almost all practices in England, based on QOF data and the GP Patient Survey, which was picked up by national and local media.

Pulse reported there were concerns over the accuracy of much of the data, including for those practices that had dropped elements of QOF and for the indicators relating to the patient survey.

The CQC said it was reviewing the indicators with the Department of Health and the GPC, and as a result it has revised five of the indicators.

The indicators that have been reviewed are:

  • The proportion of respondents to the GP patient survey who stated that the last time they wanted to see or speak to a GP or nurse from their GP surgery they were able to get an appointment;
  • The number of emergency admissions for 19 ambulatory care sensitive conditions per 1,000 population;
  • Ratio of reported versus expected prevalence for COPD;
  • The ratio of expected to reported prevalence of coronary heart disease;
  • Dementia diagnosis rate adjusted by the number of patients in residential care homes.

Professor Nigel Sparrow, senior national GP advisor and responsible officer, said: ‘Following feedback from national and local stakeholders, and working with NHS England, we have now completed a comprehensive review of the data and, as a result, there are a number of changes.

‘The vast majority of GP practices will not be affected by these changes. Overall, 60 practices (less than 1%) previously in higher priority bands 1 and 2 will now move to bands which are of lower priority for inspection. We will contact each of those practices to apologise for any concern this may have caused GPs, their staff and their patients. We will also contact the seven practices which will move into a higher priority band as a result of these changes. Updated IM reports and more information will be available on our website from Monday.’

He added that the CQC wanted to ‘reinforce the message that the banding is not a judgement’. Professor Sparrow said: ‘Intelligent monitoring will never be used in isolation to make a final judgement or produce a rating of a GP practice.’

However, Dr Richard Vautrey, GPC deputy chair, said this was another part of the ‘shambles’ that is the CQC’s intelligent monitoring scheme.

He told Pulse: ‘The reality is that this is a shambles and the CQC should have listened to us before releasing the first set of information. We called for it not to be published in advance and they ignored that.

‘They have agreed to work with us on developing a new system but it seems crazy to be tinkering around with something that is fundamentally flawed and has seriously damaged the reputation of many good practices and good GPs.

He added: ‘They should be withdrawing this flawed banding system.’

Readers' comments (32)

  • Anyone know where those traitors Steve Field and Nigel Sparrow are hiding? House of Lords lobby?

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  • CQC state the "the banding is not a judgement". If this is the case, why release the information (to the media and the public) in such an inaccurate, misleading and sensationalist manner? The head of CQC should be held accountable for this, and as well as resign, should be investigated by the GMC. He brings the whole of the profession into disrepute. Doctors have been struck off for less damaging crimes.

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  • surely if the CQC ratings have been discredited then as a professional body we have lost confidence in the CQC. The only way to change the inspections is a national campaign of non co-operation until the inspection criteria are changed and have become more reasonable and measured

    The inspections are really designed to make it virtually impossible for individual practices to survive which ultimately is the government agenda anyway

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  • A class action by those practices affected. Mass resignation from the NHS a month before the election would focus the minds of the politicians. Alternative model: co payments and an insurance backed system like the rest of the world. This would protect patients in the long term. To carry on with this pantomime while politicians and the public bury their heads in the sand is not an option. The bond markets will get spooked soon and stop selling UK plc cheap debt. Need to do something before then if at all possible. Country is bankrupt and shortly the CQC will be the least of our worries. Talk to the Greek health workers who did not get paid when their system and country went bust to get an idea of what awaits us all. At least with a copayment model we will be able to feed our families.

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  • I looked at the CQC website - and couldn't find any announcement, explanation or correction for this omnishambles.
    I appreciate that communication doesn't seem to be a strong point among the Poawers That Be in the new NHS (I could also cite NHS England with as an example) but if CQC is apologising to GPs, shouldn't this be somewhere prominent for *patients* (and the media) if they want to check up on their practice?

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  • Do you think anybody care? The purpose of forming NHSE was to bankrupt the system and squeeze GPs out.
    The purpose of CQC was lethally damage the morale while squeezing out more cash form Practices and to make sure that NHS bosses do not lose weight.
    Mission accomplishment a step closer.
    Vote this government back and you might as well write your will today because tomorrow there won't be workers left in this country- and I am not talking just of the Health services.

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  • @10:48 -
    ''Prof'' Steve Field claimed he was offered the job of forming/re-forming the NHS Constitution by Cameron himself. I bet CQC Chair was also given to him by Cameron himself.
    Like all the guys with multiple hats - whether CQC, BMA,NHSE or LMC - these guys need some serious CBT !! Wonder whether Cameron is not going to head an American Healthcare Co in UK after he loses elections.

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  • Satirical headline: ''CQC HARMS PATIENT CARE''

    'practices spend so long jumping through hoops and dreaming up policies and procedures that patient appointments are cancelled as partners move to managment roles within practices to deal with the bureacracy that CQC generates'.

    Satire? Or is it?

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  • Dear Ed,
    What's the relevence of a pictue of a condom under the CQC picture?
    I can think of plenty of things that'd get moderated about shafting etc.....

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  • Like other faceless quangos run by unaccountable feckless individuals they ***s tax payers' money up the wall and nothing ever happens to them. They think they are immune from being sued and cannot lose their own personal wealth. Broken Britain. Broken by unpleasant bafoons who move from one feeding trough to the next.

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