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Five more GP practices face closure by the CQC

Five further GP practices are facing closure by the CQC, in addition to two practices which have been denied registration and have now been forced to reassign patients, the regulator has announced

Pulse first reported in January that two practices had been issued with closure notices. Today the CQC confirmed that they did not appeal this decision and the PCTs concerned have reassigned the practices’ patients to alternative GPs.

A further five practices have now been refused registration but still have 28 days as of when the closure notices were issued to appeal the CQC’s decision. After that the CQC then has a further 28 days to respond before the practices are closed.

One further provider was initially refused registration, but re-applied after making changes to its legal entity. It has now been granted registration.

Neither the practices which have been closed nor those which are now facing closure have been identified by the CQC, although patients at the two which have closed have been advised that they moved to a different surgery. A CQC spokesperson was not immediately able to clarify why the two practices had not been named or whether they would be in due course.

They added that the two practices that were closed were refused registration as they failed to answers questions put to them by the regulator about their individual fitness to practise.

Overall 7,563 out of the 7,607 providers - 99.4% - that applied to be registered by the 1 April deadline were registered in time, the CQC said.

Some 44 applications received on or just before 31 March 2013 are still being processed, but as they arrived within the required time frame, they are legally protected and can continue to operate.

The regulator is chasing 43 further providers to see if they are eligible for registration.

Commenting on the registration process, which began last July, the CQC’s head of registration Adrian Hughes said: ‘Registration of GP providers has been a tremendous success with just under 100% of those who applied registered in time for the April deadline.’

‘We would like to thank GP practice staff - their cooperation over the last year has made the process go very smoothly.’

He added that from this Thursday each registered GP practice will have a page on the CQC website so patients will be able to check whether their practice is providing a good quality service.


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Readers' comments (11)

  • The idea suggested by Adrian Hughes that patients could check the CQC web site to see if their surgery is providing a good quality service is advice he would presumably have given to patients at Mid Staffs.

    I know from long and tedious association with the CQC that nothing it says about any service is worth a pinch of salt. The CQC does not assess services accurately. It writes reports which are full of errors of fact and opinion. They do not reflect reality.

    There are reports about the CQC which have detailed how poorly the organisation performs. Unfortunately the CQC deludes itself and seeks represent itself as the arbiter of good practice, when it is no such thing.

    It is dangerous to rely on the judgements of such an inadequate regulator.

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  • Dear god, we live in a banana republic. Grossly understaffed, demoralised, demotivated, depressed. Not my words - Sir Francis QC. How can you judge such people and the care they provide as inadequate. I have worked with 99.9 % of NHS staff who are simply lovely. They do not deserve this madness.

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  • The story actually says these 5 practices have been refused registration and now have time to appeal. Have we considered the possibility that they might actually want to close down?

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  • This article doesn't explain why the GP practices have been refused which would have been useful to us all.You don't need to breach confidentiality to tell us that.Pretty shoddy journalism.

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  • Thanks for your comment - unfortunately the CQC has not been very explicit about why registration was refused. All they have told us is that the GPs were refused registration for failing to answer questions about their individual fitness to practise - this has now been added to the story. As we learn more we will report it.

    Steve Nowottny
    Editor, Pulse

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  • Who monitors CQC?
    Watchdog should be the Local LMC

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  • Vinci Ho

    The debatable question is how transparent these organisations like GMC and CQC should be when they took 'actions' .
    Of course it has to be accepted that a small proportion will fail the standard in any test or inspection . The question is also whether the practices were offered reasonable support to try to remedy. After all , what is/are lacking to warrant a complete closure is in the best interest of the public .And that is the transparency we should be debating........

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  • Anonymous | 03 April 2013 9:22am
    Who monitors CQC?
    Watchdog should be the Local LMC

    Why would you give the doctors trade union's local branch the power over anything to do with regulation?

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  • "They added that the two practices that were closed were refused registration as they failed to answers questions put to them by the regulator about their individual fitness to practise."
    Is "fitness to practice" (practice what?) part of the remit of the CQC? And what does it mean if the individuals concerned had not been hauled before the panel - and found to be fit?

    I thought it was still up to the GMC (registration with license to practice) - and I don't recall that as a question in the CQC registration process (but most of it was done by my practice manager!)
    And if the individuals had been found unfit by the GMC - but had not been barred from practice - does this mean that in the future CQC will be closing practices if one or more GPs has the same problems?
    If CQC closed the practices, I can only assume that, whatever the circumstances, the PCT had not taken this action.

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  • Please find below a response from the CQC that may help clear up some of the confusion:

    In assessing applications for registration the Care Quality Commission does not make direct judgement about an individual GP's ' fitness to practice’, that is the responsibility of the GMC. Providers were required to make applications to carry on regulated activities and the Commission is required to assess each one in line with the legislation. The Health and Social Care Act 2008 together with the associated regulations set out ’fitness’ requirements for individual or partner providers. The responsibility is on the applicant to show they satisfy the fitness requirements set out in the regulations, and the Commission would use this to make a judgement about fitness. If additional information is required this too would be requested and taken into account. If a provider, for whatever reason, chooses not to provide information that demonstrates they satisfy the fitness requirements the consequence is likely to be a notice of proposal to refuse registration. A provider has the right to challenge a notice of proposal to refuse registration.

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