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20.04.17

Half a million patients receiving ‘inadequate’ care from GPs, CQC warns

The CQC has warned doctors across the country to improve after revealing that around half a million patients were receiving care from GPs who had been rated as ‘inadequate’ in inspections.

The regulator’s message comes as it published reports on another 80 GPs in the last week, finding that 54 were good, whilst 17 required improvement and two were inadequate.

It also revealed that the total number of ‘outstanding’ practices in the country stood at 393, meaning that over one million patients were receiving top-quality care.

Improvement was also seen to be on the rise in many GPs who had been previously rated as ‘inadequate’, with the number of practices exiting special measures going up to 104.

This follows news reported by NHE last week that the quality of care at many hospital trusts was slipping, as four had entered special measures in less than a week.

But Professor Steve Field, chief inspector of general practice, said that after inspecting nearly 7,000 providers, most the care being given to patients was good.

“What’s enormously encouraging is that our inspections are driving improvement – 90% of practices that we have re-inspected have improved since last October,” he said. “Through their hard work and dedication, practices are making positive changes to the care they deliver.”

However, there is a still a lot of work for GPs across the country to do, with too much evidence of poor care still being identified by the CQC.

“Since we began inspecting GP practices in October 2014 we have found over 200 practices to be ‘inadequate’. While this is a minority, this still amounts to over half a million patients in England who were not receiving the basic standards of care that they should be able to expect from their GP practice,” explained Field.

“I am glad to say that we have increasingly found that most practices that are placed in special measures use the support that is on offer to meet those standards.”

Top Image:  Anthony Devlin

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editor's comment

22/03/2017New additions and unexpected announcements

As NHE went to press, many of us were still recovering from the chancellor’s unexpected health announcements in his last Spring Budget.   While the sector welcomed Philip Hammond’s revelations, centered on capital funding for advanced sustainability and transformation plans (STPs) and A&E triage schemes (page 24), the government failed to address the funding gap still facing the NHS.   Even the £2bn social care windfall, which Treasury has... read more >