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GPs have less confidence than other providers that CQC is useful

Nearly half of primary care workers feel the way CQC inspects and regulates doesn’t improve the quality of care received by patients.

The CQC’s annual provider survey, which questioned 2,636 primary care professionals, including 2,361 GPs, saw 48% answer ‘not beneficial’ when asked what extent they believe the way CQC inspects and regulates is beneficial to the quality of care received by people.

This was a 13% increase on last year and compared with just 8% of hospital providers and 7% of adult social care providers.

The survey also found that 50% of primary medical service professionals strongly disagree or disagree that CQC inspection reports provide information to help improve services. This is compared with 13% of secondary care trusts, and 10% of adult social care providers believing the same.

In response to the survey Dr Richard Vautrey, BMA GP committee chair, said the CQC must ‘make more progress reducing the level of bureaucracy that still remains at the heart of the inspection process’.

He added: ‘GP practices are spending far too much time on pointless box ticking that adds nothing to improving the quality of care patients receive and in many cases actually drags them away from frontline patient care.’

The CQC said in its report that, for general practice, they are working with the GMC and NHS England to reduce ‘duplication of requests on providers, asking for information once, and using it many times’.

In the annual survey, the CQC also addressed a lack of consistency across inspections, ‘working with providers to understand more about their experiences of inconsistency’.

Professor Steve Field, chief inspector of general practice at the CQC, has previously said the watchdog is ‘not as consistent’ as it should be with some practices inspected with more leniency than others.

The CQC survey is changing for 2018, the CQC added, when only a ‘representative sample’, rather than all registered providers, will be questioned.