The CQC’s chief inspector of general practice has admitted that presentation skills affect practices’ CQC rating.
Speaking at the Health+Care conference in London today, Professor Steve Field was asked by the audience why some outstanding practices receive only a good rating and vice versa.
Professor Field responded that if a practice was outstanding ‘this is up to the practice to tell us’.
He said: ‘What we find is that in some surgeries when we go in, that first half hour when people are showing they are a really good practice or an outstanding practice, some surgeries don’t shine. They don’t share and tell as what is really great about them.
‘Everybody around them might know everything is great, but unless they tell us and provide evidence, we can’t prove that. And so that first sort of presentation, the chance you’ve got to give information to us, the practices that do really well shine.
‘I’ve been to inspections where people have been showing wonderful slideshows about the care.’
In the session, Professor Field also suggested that CQC inspectors will know upon entering the practice what sort of rating to expect, based on its patient survey results.
He said: ‘We know that if you have high scores associated with patients recommending the practice they tend to be outstanding or very good. If GPs show care and concern, higher scores are associated with better ratings… So from the patient survey, we know that where patients are engaged in their care and share decisions with their doctors, the surgeries tend to be rated generally better.’
He also said the CQC is collecting data to show up the BMA’s suggestion that poorer CQC ratings is linked to less funding per patient.
Professor Field said it would publish data in the autumn, which he said will show that inadequate practices often receive substantial funding.
He said: ‘The BMA produced a press release which basically had three columns and it showed that between outstanding, good and requires improvement there is a correlation with the average income coming into the practice per patient.
‘What they didn’t show was that [those rated] inadequate weren’t proportionally down. Because we think that the inadequate practices, often it it’s leadership and some of those practices are getting some good income.’