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Public found CQC ‘risk ratings’ of no use, regulator admits

The public found the CQC’s GP practice intelligent monitoring ‘risk bandings’ of no use and that actual inspection ratings were more important to them, the regulator has conceded.   

After the hugely controversial publication of the CQC’s risk bandings in November last year, giving practices a banding of one (potentially risky) to six (no risk) based on QOF and patient survey data, the regulator’s own research involving the public found that the bandings were ‘less useful’ to them than inspection ratings.

The CQC’s findings form part of its ‘lessons learned review’, which was launched in January to ‘understand the root causes of the mistakes made’, after errors were found in the data and the GPC called for them to be withdrawn as they failed to adequately reflect how a practice was performing.

Following the subsequent criticism, the CQC recently bowed to pressure and pulled its ‘intelligent monitoring’ risk bandings and apologised to GPs after admitting that its original use of language relating to risk ‘wasn’t right’.

It said it had ‘listened to the concerns of the GP profession’ and, as a result, would no longer give practices a banding of one to six to signify their potential risk, but would continue to produce intelligent monitoring reports.

The CQC board papers ahead of tomorrow’s monthly meeting, state: ‘We have been working with the public through controlled trials, focus groups and online surveys to understand what they want from CQC information and inspection reports.

‘The research found that the public liked the detail in our reports but found the bandings less useful and that ratings in inspection reports were more important to them.’