The Care Quality Commission (CQC) have recently announced that the special measure regime being used to monitor hospitals will now be rolled out to GP surgeries across England. This will be the first time that GP surgeries go under scrutiny through a national failure regime.
If a GP practice is given the lowest rating in the system which is ‘inadequate’ they will be given 6 months or a year to resolve their issues or they will face closure.
The Chief Inspector of the CQC- Professor Steve Field, has spoken out about the new regime stating that most practices do provide great care for patients, however the minority of surgeries that provide a poor level of care to patients cannot be allowed to continue.
The new inspections will commence in October and by March 2016 the CQC expect to have inspected nearly 8,000 surgeries.
In previous circumstances, the GP practices would have just had to state if they were compliant with a core set of standards, now they will be given a rating of either outstanding, good, requires improvement or inadequate.
If a surgery is rated inadequate, they will be given 6 months to improve. If after this time they remain in the bottom rank they will then be placed in special measures and given a further 6 months. In extreme circumstances where they are serious issues raised about a surgery from the offset they can be placed in special measures immediately.
Whilst the practice is in the special measures phase they will be given support- which has not yet been decided- to help turn themselves around. In the current regime for hospitals, this means partnering up with another local well running trust and having extra senior managers put in place.
If a GP practice still fails to improve whilst in special measures this will mean either the CQC will remove its registration or the NHS terminating its contract- both result in the surgery no longer being able to run. For the patients of that surgery it means either moving to another local practice or alternative GP’s coming in and taking over the previous surgery.
This latest announcement has received both positive and negative feedback as some say it is right that GP’s are held accountable for poor care whereas others state that most GP failures are a result of the environment and funding.
Are you a GP surgery or an employee, how will you be affected by these announcements?
Or are you a patient, how do you think your local practice will fair under the new regime?
If you would like any advice in regards to DBS checks for GP surgeries please give our advisors a call on 01254 355688.