• CQC to develop new “provider level” assessment for large scale GP providers and new care models
  • GP practices required to submit data on care quality annually
  • Regulator to remove limit on amendments to providers’ ratings

Large scale GP organisations and those providing new care models could be subject to a new assessment regime by the Care Quality Commission.

In a consultation on the regulation of primary medical services, the CQC has suggested large scale GP providers and those providing new care models could move to a “provider level” assessment regime from April 2019.

The proposals, published today, come as part of a wider consultation on changes to the CQC’s inspection regime and include changes to the inspection of adult social care.

The document said large scale GP providers and new care models could be assessed in a similar way to NHS trusts.

It said: “We will inspect some practices as part of a coordinated complex provider or area inspection and, in time, we may move towards also inspecting at the highest level of accountability for quality…

“If and when we introduce a provider level assessment, we may consider using our CQC Insight model to select a sample of locations for practice level inspection and rating.”

The regulator will look at the way it registers these organisations and pilot new models of regulation for “evolving models of primary care” in 2017-18.

In January, HSJ reported that a super partnership based in Birmingham was set to be the first large scale GP provider to be registered as a “single entity”.

The consultation, open until 8 August, also said primary care providers may be inspected alongside hospitals and adult social care providers where they have integrated services.

Proposed changes to the PMS inspection regime include:

  • Introduction of an annual data collection for GPs. This will be applied to GP federations and super partnerships from April 2018. Currently practices are required to submit data at the time of inspection.
  • Removing the limit on amendments to provider ratings. Currently the CQC does not amend a practice ratings if it carries out a focussed inspection more than six months after a comprehensive inspection.
  • CQC Insight information collected on the quality of primary care within an area and clinical commissioning group, which can be updated at any point in the year.
  • No longer rating the care of different population groups using the safe, well led and caring domains. In future, only the ratings of effectiveness and responsiveness will be applied to these groups.
  • Independent PMS providers will no longer be categorised separately from NHS providers.