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Independents' Day

‘The whole exercise cost us £430,000’

Dr Thomas Marland on preparing for his CQC inspection

Our practice has 11,000 patients and seven GPs. This was our first CQC inspection, so we made a special effort and gave it our very best shot, as we didn’t know what to expect.

We looked at every area of the practice, including the infrastructure and physical objects. For example, we had to splash out on some new chairs that comply with workplace seating rules, and we even got in the decorator to give our walls a lick of paint.

The main thing for us was the amount of work involved for the staff. While they could do the mandatory training modules in their own time, the amount of additional paperwork involved was considerable. For example, we had templates for policies and had to go through them all make sure they were tailored to our practice. The CQC toolkit that we bought listed at least 200 policies.

We worked out that the whole exercise cost us £430,000, mainly in staff time, but including £15,000 on decorating and cleaning.

Staff agreed to take time off in lieu instead of charging overtime, which would have been payable at the weekend rate. But the process has left us with a staggering amount of time owing, so productivity decreases.

I simply can’t imagine how practices with severe recruitment problems would cope with the work needed to prepare for an inspection. We only did so thanks to our exceptional practice manager, John Macphee.

Thankfully, we found the CQC inspection overall to be a positive experience and the inspectors were very supportive. We received an assessment of ‘good’ and were found to be ‘outstanding’ for chronic disease management and being well led.

Dr Thomas Marland is a GP in Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire

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Readers' comments (20)

  • £430k.....are you having a laugh? Do you think that was money well spent?

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  • Such a shame that this practice thought this was money well spent when primary care is so underfunded at present. I have worked at several practices who have had CQC inspections and they have flown through the process with minimal effort and money spent.

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  • I would have spat my coffee out in shock at a figure of £43,000 but this is really surprising. Not wishing to be disrespectful at all, but does this figure include a significant building project other than the decorating costs? I'm struggling to grasp how the spend could hit those heights otherwise.

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  • some of it is indicative costs- costs that would not have been spent otherwise.

    I'm surprised they felt it was a useful process considering how much your CQC bill will be going up by

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  • ''whole exercise cost us £430,000, mainly in staff time''

    Your surgery must be located in the most expensive part of Great Britain if your total costs for a CQC inspection is so huge and that too for the costs being mainly due to STAFF TIME.

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  • ' whole exercise cost us £430,000 ' I almost fell out of my chair !, it makes one wonder was the surgery so lacking that so much amount was spent to bring it up to scratch for the CQC visit

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  • Best part of half a million in costs, most of which is staff time? You must be paying people in solid gold.

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  • Lunacy. Unless you have no protocols and are shambolic why do anything. Unless you are totally hopeless and deserve to be closed the least that will happen is that CQC will ask you to do things within a reasonable time frame

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  • Next time please contact us on - some one has just fooled your organisation.

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  • Sorry for my complete ignorance but why are practices having to make special efforts to get ready when the inspectors call. Did we not all sign a declaration to say we were CQC Compliant in April 2013?? Utter nonsense.

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