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GPs go forth

Practices with poor CQC ratings 'receive less funding'

Practices that do better in their CQC inspections receive more funding per patient, according to new research.

The BMA looked at 2,814 GP practices in England inspected by the CQC in 2015, finding that practices which received an ‘outstanding’ rating received on average £152 per patient, whereas those rated ‘inadequate’ received only £111 per patient.

Practices rated as ‘good’ received £140 and those given ‘needs improvement’ received £128 per patient on average.

The CQC does not take into account resources when publishing their ratings of GP practices. The average funding for a GP practice is £141 per patient - less than the average funding for an ‘outstanding’ practice.

GPC chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul said the analysis showed that ’there is a clear link between the amount of funding a GP practice receives and the rating they are allocated by the CQC’. 

He said: ’Despite this, the CQC takes no account of resources available to a GP practice when they grade their care, even if this leads to GPs and their staff being publically shamed with an “inadequate” or “needs improvement” rating.

’This is wholly unfair given the obvious impact that funding has on the ability of GPs and staff to run their practices, and which will impact on the CQC’s own rating system. The research also demonstrates the wide disparity between funding for practices which is completely unacceptable.’

A previous investigation showed that practices that receive poor CQC ratings tend to have underlying issues, including recruitment problems.

It comes as the GPC funding body is supporting a judicial review against the CQC. It also comes CQC fees increased by almost £2,000 for the average practice in April.

The CQC inspections regime

The CQC has inspected over a third of practices (35%) so far and has rated the vast majority (87%) either ’good’ or ‘outstanding’ – and it is expected that the first round of inspections of all practices will be completed by 2017. 

Last month’s General Practice Forward View confirmed that the CQC will scale back its inspections for GP practices once every provider has been assessed, and move to a ‘risk-based’ approach.

GP practices will subsequently be inspected less frequently – and those that are rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ will be inspected only once every five years.



Readers' comments (16)

  • A new health secretary or even government won't make any difference. There are a hundred reasons why the job of a GP as we know it can't continue. It is an increasingly high risk job. Get out now. Do you want to end up in court or in front of GMC taking personal responsibility for a failing system. Locum, get a an appraiser job, help out at the CCG, retire, work part time, work in A&E, find something else to do. Look out for the patient in front of you - don't take on responsibility for the patients you do not have time to see safely. Look after yourself.

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  • Dear All,
    Hmmm, interesting implication for the JR.
    Paul C

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  • Ursidae faecal matter spotted in arboretum.

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  • Bob Hodges

    Statistically somewhat more robust than the fabled 'weekend effect' eh Jezza?

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  • I thought we had a National contract how could such massive variation be accepted by LMC's and the GPC? I understand there are practices that do more LCS's but the basic contract should be the same?

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  • The HSCIC GP excel spreadsheet figures on 'payments per patient' have a significant flaw. Where a practice offers a LES to more than its own population the denominator remains that practice's population only, thus inflating the figures by the turnover for the LES, before cost are taken into account.

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  • State sponsored corruption it is all along and is blamed on incompetence of HSCIS and NHSE who don't have a blooming idea of how it works.

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  • Doesn't add up as with an overall good rating we have had £91 and £96 for the last two years.
    Maybe the flip side is that Practices getting low payments are poorly performing due to constraints.
    I,personally, know how much more effort it takes to keep up a level of performance on limited resources and until there is equitable distribution of resources, there will be defaulters due to circumstances rather than being 'lazy gps'.

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  • this place is in very deprived population
    receives the lowest funding of all 42 practices in the CCG. has been unable to recruit for 3 years. and just panned by CQC

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  • @Simon Sherwood: not surprising. How much of this is intentional squeezing out Practices and how much can be blamed on 'historical' underpayment which is mentioned by NHSE as an excuse for continuing to underpay, we can only guess.

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