This site is intended for health professionals only

At the heart of general practice since 1960

Read the latest issue online

Gold, incentives and meh

GPs to be given 48 hours' notice of CQC inspections

GPs will be given 48 hours’ notice before a CQC inspection and will be tested on five outcomes, the CQC have announced.

Results from the CQC’s pilots of GP practice inspection- due to being in April - found that practices given longer than 48 hours notice for an inspection often produced unnecessary documents, improved their premises and hired extra staff.

As part of the pilots the notice given to practices ranged from no notice to five days. Ms Vicky Howes, design team leader for GP registration at the CQC said practices given five days notice for an inspection tended to over-prepare.

She said: ‘Any longer than 48 hours and GPs were spending time doing unnecessary work. We don’t expect GPs to do any preparation.’

She added that practice will be measured against five outcomes to be decided by the inspectors, but inspectors will be able to ‘add on’ an outcome if they are made aware of a specific issue.

The pilots also identified that CQC staff will require more training what language to use when speaking to staff and patients, and when to approach patients.

The CQC found they also needed to do some more work around whether to approach patients before or after they go in for a consultation, whether the inspector approaches patients or waits in a room and ask patients self select to answer questions and how receptionists can help with this.

They added that they also need to work harder to involve other stakeholders such as the LMC and patient participation groups.

Ms Howes said the CQC was pleased with the results of the pilot, which included feedback from all practices involved.

She said: ‘We were very pleased with the pilots and the feedback received. GPs saw that we spent the majority of time speaking with patients and staff, not sitting in a room going through policy boxes. GPs didn’t need to block out their whole day.’

The pilot inspections involved 12 inspectors and 42 voluntary practices across different PCTs and included a range of surgeries, from very large partnerships to single handed practices.

Readers' comments (7)

  • What's irritating is the complete lack of understanding of how practices are funded and the complete inequality that is currently present, so you could have practices that have had heavy investment over the last 10 years that will easily sail through any cqc inspection and you are comparing that with a neighbouring practice who through the last 10 years has had complete disinvestment. It's very difficult to understand these issues, and I suspect very few people actually do.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Absolutely agreed with the above comment. I think CQC inspectors should be trained extensively and 50% of them should be senior GPs who had experience of working in the primary care.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I've just given my PCT 3 months notice of my intention to retire early :))

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • How much is invested in the practice is upto the owners of the practice. No one else. I also think the last people involved in the inspecting are fellow GP's, practices should be upto the appropriate standard as their contract requires and so should be inspected in the same way as any other private provider of health services.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Actually it's not , it's up the pct as practices get completely different funding,

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • The PCT can choose which practices it is willing to put additional funding into. But the base contract has funding for premises in it and there is nothing stoping the owners of the practice investing themselves in their own premises.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • The base contract is completely different for each practice in terms of funding.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say