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CQC confirms start date for new GP practice inspection framework roll-out

by Anna Colivicchi
25 October 2023

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The CQC will start to roll out its new assessment framework in the South of England from 21 November.  

The new framework will continue to use five key questions (safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led) and a four-point ratings scale (outstanding, good, requires improvement and inadequate) but as part of the changes, the CQC will introduce six new ‘evidence categories’ to organise information under the statements.

These new categories include people’s experience of health and care services, feedback from staff and leaders, feedback from partners, observation, processes and outcomes. 

As previously announced, this new framework will be rolled out regionally, starting with providers in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Kent, Oxfordshire, Somerset, Surrey, Sussex and Wiltshire, with other regions to follow by the end of March next year.

In an update to providers, the CQC said: ‘From 21 November we will start using our new single assessment framework in our South region.

‘Between 21 November and 4 December we will undertake a small number of planned assessments with 14 early adopter providers, whilst continuing to respond to risk.

‘We will then expand our new assessment approach to all providers based on a risk-informed schedule.

‘We will be in contact and inviting providers to be early adopters separately. This will be an opportunity for those early adopters to get an experience of our new ways of working and for us to hear feedback about the process.

‘At this stage our new assessment approach will not apply to services we do not rate or NHS trust well-led assessments.

‘We’ll be in contact with those providers with the detail of how we’ll roll out our new approach with them.’

The CQC unveiled details of reduced inspections for GP practices at the start of this year to allow NHS staff to ‘focus on delivering for patients’ amid winter pressures.

It said it would ‘respond to only the most serious risks where there is a high risk of harm to people’ and confirmed last week that it would continue to ‘focus on risk’ throughout the winter.

It added: ‘We will continue to prioritise our visits to providers across all sectors when we have information that indicates there is a significant risk of poor care or harm to people.’

A version of this story first appeared on our sister publication Pulse