I was alarmed to read that a PCT is using the forthcoming CQC registration to put pressure on GPs. Our view is that this is completely inappropriate.
Primary care providers are not yet registered and therefore are not yet subject to compliance under the Health and Social Care Act 2008. Any third-party pressure for them to comply at present with regulations is premature and inappropriate.
At registration, surgeries will be asked to declare compliance with the essential standards, including stating that services for patients are being provided in safe, accessible surroundings.
If, for example, a service is provided in an older building or a building that doesn’t have disabled access, we would want to be assured that the practice has identified these risks and is managing them (or has a plan for how to manage them).
However, we would not be asking for alterations to the building where care is currently delivered and we certainly wouldn’t be asking for that service to close down.
We completely understand that the premises that practices use come in all shapes and sizes, so we don’t impose ‘one-size-fits-all’ requirements.
We would also like to echo Dr Laurence Buckman’s call for practices not to sign up for expensive third-party compliance software. The CQC is happy to answer questions about registration and all practices are invited to join our provider reference group to help keep informed and give us feedback. Further information can be found on the CQC’s website.
We will keep Pulse informed about developments to make sure readers have up-to-date information about registration.
From Amanda Sherlock
Operations director, Care Quality Commission