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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)

  • Time and Time again the NHS rewards failure. Those of us who invested heavily in computers paid to do so were punished and never thanked or rewarded as those who delayed did where in the end given them. The poorer practices who did not have basic equipment were again given them in the end, when we had paid for our scanners, spirometers, ECG machines, minor Op kit. Various schemes to help the "failing" practices just dilute the funds available to those who do the work and prepared to invest. This should stop, rewarding failure encourages it.

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  • Anonymous | GP Partner16 May 2016 8:05pm
    True, but OoA patients as a percentage of total turnover is likely to be a tiny margin in real terms. Not sure it invalidates the figures much.

    Gerard Bulger | GP Partner17 May 2016 3:57pm
    Rather think you've missed the point. The revenue in order to be able to make that capital investment is not provided to practices who subsequently fail. Investing in a failing business is stupid. I think they call it government.

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  • @4:58 practice manager

    2 clinics a week, 10 patients a session with a consultant = 1000 appts / year which easily pushes turnover into 5 figures. Run a couple of such services and it ups the error in the HSCIC spreadsheet considerably.

    I don't disagree with the inequity in gp funding being wrong and being related to overall ability to maintain high quality care however.

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  • Sorry meant 6 figures above

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  • questions 1) What does CQC cost ? 2) Does it improve morbidity or mortality or patient experience ?

    answers 1) Too much. 2) No = A* AQA Biology

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  • This discrepancy in funding is widespread with some hospitals and GPs getting 3X the pay of another per patient.
    We have had this discussion for years.
    The multiple jeopardy when you are poorly funded, you work 3X as hard, you get less rest you make more mistakes,more burn out and you are then judged to be a poor doctor as well and uncaring!!
    You are punished for being punished in the first place.

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