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CQC: Patients to aid in out of hours inspection

22 January 2014

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The Chief Inspector of General Practice has called on the public to aid an investigation into a GP out of hours service. 

Selly Oak Health Centre in Birmingham is one of the first five GP out of hours providers to be inspected in January under radical changes being introduced by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). 

A total of 36 out of hours providers will be inspected in the first three months of 2014. 

The formal inspection of Selly Oak will begin on Monday 27 January, starting with a “listening event” for patients and the local community. 

Chief Inspector, Professor Steve Field said: “GP out of hours services face particular challenges in providing safe, compassionate care. Patients are often unfamiliar to staff, and staff do not always have access to their medical records.

“Often these services have a large workforce where staff may not know each other well. Cases can be complex and urgent and there have also been a number of high profile failings in out of hours services. Because of these factors we believe it is important that we improve how we regulate and inspect these services quickly.

“We want to highlight good practice where these challenges are managed well, but we also want to identify where GP out of hours services are not good enough.   These inspections will help us develop a picture of the quality of out of hours services across the country, and will enable us to test our approach.

“Of course we will be talking to the local GPs, as well as the managers and their staff.  But it is vital that we also hear the views of the patients or anyone who wants to share information with us to help us plan our inspection and so focus on those things that really matter.”