You are here

GP mythbuster 90: Population groups

  • Organisations we regulate,
  • GP and GP out-of-hours services

As well as inspecting and rating GP practices against the five key questions, we also make a judgement on the quality of care they provide for six population groups.

The population groups – how we inspect and rate them

  • Older people
  • People with long-term conditions
  • Families, children and young people
  • Working age people (including those recently retired and students)
  • People whose circumstances may make them vulnerable
  • People experiencing poor mental health

Population groups and who they include

These population groups are not mutually exclusive. Individuals may fall into more than one group at the same time.

By reflecting on services for each of these groups, we can consider care and outcomes for everyone, including those who may need more support.

We can also present information to the public about local services that are relevant to them. For example, someone could look specifically at the quality of care provided for people with long-term conditions registered with that practice.

Changes to how we inspect and rate population groups

In April 2018, we changed the way we inspect and rate population groups.

For all inspections of GP practices, we now rate each of the population groups against the effective and responsive key questions only. These two ratings will then be aggregated to reach an overall rating for the population groups. This means that after we inspect a practice, its new ratings will not include all previous ratings for the population groups for the safe, caring and well-led key questions.

The assessment of the five key questions for the practice overall remains unchanged and practices will continue to receive a rating for each of the five key questions and an overall rating for the practice.

How we inspect and rate population groups (from April 2018)

What this means for GP practices

We consider the quality of care for these population groups to assess how well practices meet their specific needs. We do not use these groups to restrict how we view patients or the care provided for them.

These rating changes allow us to more easily highlight outstanding care or identify poor care. They also mean that ratings should reflect the quality of care more accurately – the practice is rated on whether they are responsive to the needs of the population group and are effective in delivering care to them. This will help people to better understand the quality of care they can expect to receive.

These changes do not mean that safety, being caring or running a well-led organisation no longer have an impact on the different population groups. We recognise that being safe, caring and well-led affects all the population groups.

Services will assess and classify patients in a way that allows them to effectively serve their patients’ needs. We recognise that services may not organise their approach to patient care according to our population groups.

When we inspect

We will ask for evidence to show how a practice meets the needs of the specific population groups.

If you consider how your service relates to the six population groups it can help you to identify and give us evidence of good care and meeting patient need.

Last updated:
28 April 2021