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CQC to scale back GP inspections and move to ‘risk-based approach’

The CQC will scale back its inspections for GP practices once every provider has been assessed, and move to a ‘risk-based’ approach.

The move, which was previously mooted by the CQC’s chief inspector of general practice Professor Steve Field last year, is intended to reduce ‘practice burden and help release time,’ the General Practice Forward View has revealed.

In the document, published by NHS England today, it’s revealed that the CQC will ‘tailor its inspection criteria’ – taking a more risk-based approach where it monitors and reacts to ‘intelligence and information’ that it receives.

GP practices will subsequently be inspected less frequently – and those that are rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ will be inspected only once every five years, an initiative Pulse previously reported

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.  

The document said: ‘These proposals will reduce the workload related to inspection for those practices that deliver good or outstanding care, while encouraging improvement and ensuring a proportionate approach that protects patients from the risks of poor care.’

The Forward View also states that a new set of key ‘sentinel’ indicators will be published on My NHS in July this year – which suggests that practices could be judged on additional criteria – however, there is currently little detail surrounding this. 

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