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GPs should already meet CQC standards

Your recent article on preparing for Care Quality Commission registration continues to propagate the myth that a practice's premises must be fully compliant with the essential standards in order to successfully register.

Practices do not have to be fully compliant – they can declare non-compliance and provide action plans setting out how they are dealing with the risks. The CQC understands the difficulties facing general practice in relation to premises and we want to emphasise that we will be taking a proportionate approach in our assessments. Our primary concern is that patients and staff are safe and not put at risk due to unsafe premises.

There is no truth that we will close premises or deny registration because a practice lacks disabled access, carpets or skirting boards. We want to be clear that the essential standards relating to premises, cleanliness and infection control do not introduce new requirements for general practice.

From Victoria Howes, Design team leader, Care Quality Commission