Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Smaller GP practices fared worse under inspections, CQC finds

  • Comment

Smaller GP practices have fared worse under the Care Quality Commission’s inspections so far because of the “splendid isolation” in which some are operating, the chief inspector of general practice has said.

Professor Steve Field said inspectors had found “some extraordinarily brilliant small practices”, which shared data and services with others but that others struggled “because they’re isolated not because they’re small.”

“We have a statistically significant correlation between the size of practice and the likelihood they will fail [in inspections],” he said.

Professor Field was speaking on Wednesday at an event organised by the Cambridge Health Network.

He added that some small practices were poorly led with a small number employing no nurses or management support and some “work in splendid isolation”.

Professor Field said the CQC would continue to prioritise smaller practices for inspection because of the patterns it had found.

The regulator is due to publish its first GP practice ratings in the coming days, following the full introduction of its new inspection system on 1 October, since when it has inspected more than 300 practices.

Professor Field said it had discovered some “wonderful” practices such as one that cared for many “very vulnerable” patients, had established a charity to help homeless people and took one terminally ill patient on a trip to the seaside.

He said inspections found many practices were “jolly good” and that it was due to publish two “outstanding” ratings.

However, the CQC had also found a number that were “inadequate” and two that would potentially be put into “special measures”, which “takes longer” to put in place, he said.

NHS England commissioning strategy director Ian Dodge, also speaking at the event, said problems for primary care included a “reduction in relative investment compared to other services” over a decade, inequality in provision, lack of workforce and poor premises.

He said his organisation was working to address these issues and to develop new service models involving primary care.

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.

Related Jobs