The RCGP has revealed it expects the first GP practices to be assessed for practice accreditation this autumn, as the college moves to align its quality scheme with requirements for Care Quality Commission registration.
Ministers last week tore up plans for practices to register with the CQC by next April, and launched a consultation on plans to extend the deadline for GP registration to April 2013 to allow further development of quality schemes such as practice accreditation to help 'reduce the burden' on GPs.
The RCGP has welcomed the Government's decision to roll back the registration deadline, and revealed it would be imminently launching a supporting web tool for practice accreditation to enable the first practices to be assessed in the autumn.
The college said 112 practices had so far expressed an interest in the scheme following the early-bird launch of practice accreditation in last December, and said a further 100 practices were currently in talks about being assessed through the scheme.
Professor Nigel Sparrow, chair of the RCGP Professional Development Board, said the standards that the college was developing would allow GPs to demonstrate their compliane with CQC standards.
Professor Sparrow said: ‘RCGP practice accreditation standards have been developed in close working partnership with the CQC. Great care and effort has been taken in the mapping and alignment of the standards to ensure they provide a complete and comprehensive framework of the underpinning processes, systems and procedures needed to successfully produce the outputs required to demonstrate CQC compliance.
He added: ‘The RCGP welcomes the possibility of a pause in CQC registration of NHS GP practices until April 2013 as it would enable GP practices additional time to fully embed their individual improvement programmes and successfully demonstrate CQC registration compliance.
‘The interactive web tool has been designed to support and enable practices to collect evidence as they work on the practice accreditation scheme criteria, and all of the CQC standards are referenced within the tool. We continue to meet regularly with the CQC and include them in the ongoing development of the standard.'