There is no set date for routine CQC inspections of GP practices to return, the CQC has said.
The continued pause to routine inspections was confirmed as NHS England set out measures to reduce the burden on GPs and allow them to focus on the expanded Covid booster programme today.
NHS England’s letter to GP practices said: ‘The CQC have confirmed that routine inspections of practices will continue to be paused, and only risk-based assessment will be undertaken, where deemed critical to safety and quality.’
A CQC spokesperson told Pulse: ‘Routine inspections were paused in March 2020 and that continues to be the case – we remain sensitive to the pressures faced by GPs and practice teams and there is no set end date.’
NHS England chief executive Amanda Pritchard first said on Tuesday that the CQC had agreed to continue to pause GP practice inspections, and that the Government was looking at ‘cutting other burdens’ for GPs.
At the onset of the coronavirus pandemic last year, the CQC paused its routine inspections to focus on activity where there was a serious risk to people’s safety.
However inspections resumed in April for GP services which had previously been identified as breaching regulations.
The CQC recently signalled that on-site CQC inspections for outstanding practices would not return for the ‘foreseeable future’.