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First block of GP areas to undergo CQC inspection revealed

The 12 CCG areas where the first practices will face the new-style CQC inspections have been announced, with the regulator aiming to visit a quarter of practices in these areas between April and June this year.

All practices in Brighton and Hove, North East Essex, Cumbria, Enfield, Tameside and Glossop, Lincolnshire West, West Kent, West Cheshire, Merton, West London, South Warwickshire, and Dorset will be inspected over the next two years, with the CQC aiming to inspect 25% every six months.

The relevant out of hours providers will also be inspected.

The regulator is expected to announce the format of the new inpections at the beginning of April, for inspections to begin at the end of that month.

Pulse revealed last week that practices will be given two weeks notice prior to their inspection – compared with 48 hours in previous inspections – as part of a major overhaul of how inspections are conducted.

The inspection body did say that it ‘reserved the right’ to inspect unannounced where a practice has been identified as a risk and has not previously been inspected.

New style inspections were announced by chief inspector of general practice Professor Steve Field last year and will scale back its inspection criteria from the 16 essential standards, to a simplified list of 11 fundamental standards.

But Professor Field has said the new regime will aim to address this by having qualified GPs on every inspection visit, as well as lay staff members, nurses and managers.