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GP morale threatened by CQC’s Ofsted-style ratings regime, BMA warns

Forcing GPs to display CQC inspections ratings in patient waiting rooms would damage staff morale and mislead patients, the BMA has warned in its official response to the Department of Health’s consultation on the Ofsted-style system.

The CQC is planning to force GPs to display their overall CQC rating under its new inspection regime in a ‘conspicuous place’, such as patient waiting rooms. However, responding to a Department of Health consultation on the ratings that was launched last month, the BMA said it opposed the ‘simplistic’ measure.

BMA health policy and economic research unit head Raj Jethwa warned the DH not to underestimate the potential unintended consequence of demoralising the workforce further, at a time when almost half of all BMA members describe their morale as ‘low’ or ‘very low’.

He said: ‘The DH should not underestimate the damaging effect on staff morale of the CQC rating a service as “inadequate” or “requiring improvement”.

‘Morale is already low with our most recent quarterly tracker survey of BMA members finding 40% of respondents to have “low” or “very low” morale.

‘Maintaining and improving staff morale at a poorly rated provider will be very hard. And a demoralised workforce will inevitably affect staff engagement.’