The Care Quality Commission will no longer be risk rating GP practices as part of its intelligent monitoring process.
The Care Quality Commission will no longer give risk ratings for GP practices as part of its intelligent monitoring process.
The decision was made following a meeting with GP leaders yesterday.
The CQC introduced intelligent monitoring for GP practices in 2014 as part of its new inspection regime.
It published intelligent monitoring reports for all GP practices in November. All practices were assigned risk ratings, which the CQC used to prioritise when they would be inspected. The risk rating bands were 1-6, with 1 the highest risk.
However there were found to be errors in the original publication and GP representative bodies raised concerns that giving practices these ratings might be seen as a judgement on the quality of services.
The CQC will continue to publish intelligent monitoring reports on practices, but they will no longer be banded. All GP intelligent monitoring reports will be updated next week to reflect the changes.
CQC chief executive David Behan and chief inspector of general practice Steve Field yesterday sent a joint letter to all GP practices.
The letter said the CQC had “listened to the concerns of the GP profession” and would be “changing the language used to highlight variation between practices so that it does not imply a risk to patient safety”.
“What we published wasn’t right regarding the use of language around risk, and on the analysis of variation between practices. We apologise,” it continued.
“We also acknowledge that bandings have been perceived as judgements about the quality of care.
“That was not our intent but today we confirm we are removing them for GP intelligent monitoring nonetheless.”
Royal College of GPs chair Maureen Baker said: “We are pleased that the CQC has acted on our concerns and agreed to abolish the banding system until a suitable alternative can be agreed by all relevant parties.
“It is essential to remember that the vast majority of practices are doing an excellent job of delivering patient care to the highest possible quality standards.”