- Posted Monday March 11, 2019
GP practices that have been rated either Good or Outstanding by the Care Quality Commission will be subject to new ‘annual regulatory reviews’ from 1 April 2019.
Positioned as a ‘more proportionate approach’ to measuring the quality of service provided by primary care organisations, this new strategy reflects the fact that most practices in England are now rated Good or Outstanding. The CQC will carry out in-depth inspections less often for affected practices, working on a maximum reinspection timescale of every five years.
In some ways this means a less hands-on approach from the regulatory body, with full inspections becoming much less common. However, these new annual check-ins are still described as ‘formal reviews’ and will be used to measure how the quality of care provided by GP practices has ‘improved or deteriorated’.
The new approach is set to include telephone calls from CQC inspectors that are expected to last around one hour. The conversations will see practices asked a fixed set of questions based around the CQC's Five Key Questions to learn what has changed since their previous inspection or annual regulatory review.
It is being emphasised that these annual reviews are not counted as full inspections, and practices' CQC ratings will not be changed immediately as a result of them. However, the reviews can trigger a 'focused inspection' to investigate concerns that are raised about the quality of care being provided by practices. In some scenarios, a full inspection could be deemed necessary.
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