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One in seven GP practices in England remains unsafe

by Léa Legraien
21 September 2017

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The Care Quality Commission (CCQ) found that one in seven GP practices rated inadequate across England failed to improve after re inspection.

The report, called the state of care in general practice, is the first of its kind to set out the findings of all 7,365 GP practices in the country.

The CQC analysed all GP practices from 2014 to 2017 in two phases. The practices rated inadequate or requiring improvement were then re inspected six months later.

The first rating revealed that 4% practices were outstanding, 79% were good, 27% required improvement and 6% were inadequate.

On 16 May 2017, the second rating showed 4% practices rated outstanding and 86% good. But 8% required improvement and 2% were rated inadequate, the latter representing 650,000 patients in England.

Professor Steve Field, Chief Inspector of General Practice at the CQC said: ‘Where we identified concerns, most practices have taken action and improved. GPs, practice managers and other primary care staff should be commended for their efforts.’

‘The challenge is for this focus on quality to be maintained and for general practice to be supported in continuing to give patients this same high standard of care in future while embracing and driving the changes elsewhere in the system.

The report states that GP surgeries achieved good ratings by identifying and resolving problems they encounter as well as answering their patients’ needs.

Amanda Sayer, practice manager of Lighthouse Medical Practice, told Management in Practice: ‘It’s important that practices that want to improve read the CQC guidance clearly, look at their website where there are Nigel’s surgery tips and read reports from practices that have done well and see why. 

‘We’ve achieved an outstanding rating because we followed the CQC guidance and took the next step with everything, such as doing significant events, regularly analysing those and looking at trends to make further improvements.

‘We also kept innovation going and recorded everything we’ve done as a proof for the CQC.’

The practices rated inadequate and requires improvement will be re evaluated by the CQC 12 months after their first inspection.