Inspection and Regulation


CQC registration cancelled in a third of GPs post-special measures

Nearly a third of GP practices to exit special measures last year were subsequently detached from the CQC, either by being deregistered by the inspectorate or cancelling by their own registration.

In total, 155 GP practices entered CQC special measures over 2016-17, with 133 of these later exiting. In total, there were 130 practices still in the scheme at the end of the year.

The CQC’s annual accounts have now shown that of the 133 who left special measures, two-thirds improved their rating.

But 44 of the practices in special measures are no longer registered with the CQC – 30 now being deregistered and 14 cancelling their own registration.

Special measures are brought in to help struggling practices bring up their standards, but can lead to GPs being closed if improvements are not found quickly enough.

The CQC also revealed that GPs had been charged over £23m in fees throughout the whole of last year.

Across the rest of the health and care sector, the picture wasn’t dissimilar. In the social care field, for example, 575 providers entered special measures last year, while 519 exited. Of the latter, 74 had deregistered and a whopping 69 cancelled their registration. Nevertheless, 376 exited because they showed sufficient signs of improvement.

“Four years ago, we set out on the first phase of an ambitious journey to radically change the way health and adult social care in England is regulated,” the foreword of the report, by CQC chief executive Sir David Behan and chair Peter Wyman, stated. “The past year has been a successful one for the CQC, having delivered on our business plan, including completing our comprehensive inspection and ratings programme.

“As a result, we now have a robust baseline of quality across health and social care. We are the only country in the world to have an independent assessment of the quality of health and social care by a single regulator.”

The foreword also revealed that in the coming year, the regulator will need to adapt and develop to meet the new and continued challenges in the health and social care system, while still making important organisational cost savings.

“Our inspection directorates will work more closely with each other during 2017-18, to look at how health and care systems work together to better serve the needs of local people,” they said. “At all times, we remain committed to acting independently and being on the side of people who use services, their families and their carers.”

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