• 80 per cent of GP practices rated inadequate have had their CQC rating upgraded following a second inspection
  • 80 inadequate practices upgraded to good
  • 18 practices had their rating downgraded after re-inspection

Eight out of 10 GP practices rated inadequate by the Care Quality Commission have improved following re-inspection, HSJ analysis reveals.

Data, shared exclusively with HSJ, also shows that 52 practices inspected twice have since been “de-registered”, meaning they no longer provide GP services. Six of these followed enforcement action by the regulator.

According to the CQC’s figures, out of 151 practices initially rated inadequate, 40 have had their rating changed to requires improvement and 80 jumped to good, following a second inspection.

However, the data also showed 18 GP practices have had their rating downgraded to inadequate after being rated either good or requires improvement.

Table: Ratings changes following re-inspection of GP practices

CQC rating  Practices with this rating afetr first inspectionPractices that had rating upgradedPractices with no change in ratingPractices that had rating downgraded






Requires Improvement









6 (two downgraded to inadequate)

The Royal College of GPs currently runs a programme, funded by NHS England, aimed at helping inadequate practices, which are placed in special measures, and allows them to apply for up to £10,000 in funding.

So far 100 practices that have in special measures have been through the programme with 80 per cent of these receiving an improved CQC rating following re-inspection.

However, NHS England is due to stop funding the programme in October when the CQC introduces its new “risk based” inspection regime.

The regulator’s inspection focus will shift to areas where there is a high risk of poor care and will mean practices rated good or outstanding will only be inspected once every five years.

Professor Steve Field, the chief inspector of general practice, said: “I am pleased that so many general practices have responded positively to their initial inspections by taking on board our concerns and making the necessary improvements to benefit their patients.

“This is a testament to the hard work and commitment of GPs, practice managers, nurses and other primary care staff to provide patients with the safe, high quality and compassionate care they deserve.

“Having recently completed our comprehensive inspection programme of general practices – the first of its kind – we look forward to reporting on exactly what they have done to improve their services later in the year so that others can learn from the very best.”