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CQC publishes examples of inadequate practice found in GP inspections

17 November 2015
  • Public,
  • GP and GP out-of-hours services

Our new web-tool highlights the common features of inadequate practice that we have found in our inspections of GP surgeries in England.

The examples selected correspond to the five key questions that we ask about all services we inspect; are they safe, effective, caring, responsive to people’s needs and well-led?

In each example we have highlighted a common feature of inadequate practice, and explained the negative impact this has on the practice and on people receiving care. Where possible, we have provided links to further guidance or advice about the relevant topic. For the purposes of this tool, the examples we have selected have been anonymised.

In our 2014/15 State of Care report we highlighted the common themes found in practices rated inadequate, including a lack of visible and effective leadership, poor incident reporting, a lack of learning and improvement, poor team work, little clarity of roles and responsibilities, as well as unsafe medicines management. This web-tool builds on these findings, using examples from our inspection reports to highlight the impact of poor care on patients.

Our key lines of enquiry show the full range of areas we look at for each of these questions during our inspections of GP practices. Any decision to rate a practice inadequate overall would take careful consideration of the quality of care across all of these areas. So far, we have found four percent of the GP practices we have inspected to be inadequate overall, and six percent have been found to be inadequate for one of the five key questions. Eighty-four percent of the practices we have inspected so far have been found to be good or outstanding overall.

The examples selected are not an exhaustive list of inadequate practice. We would recommend that all practices look at our guidance to the regulations, handbook for providers of GP services and key lines of enquiry to ensure they are providing care that is safe, effective, caring, responsive to people’s needs and well-led.

In July we published our examples of outstanding practice for GPs web-tool. The feedback we received told us that providers and professionals working in general practice found the tool useful. We hope that the common themes we have highlighted from inadequate practice will be equally useful to refer to and learn from.

Professor Steve Field, Chief Inspector of General Practice, said: “While the majority of patients in England are receiving safe, effective, high-quality, compassionate care from their GP practice, we continue to be concerned about some of the recurring features we see in inadequate practice.

“We are sharing these examples to highlight important issues for GP practices to be aware of, and to be clear about the standards we expect from all practices.”

Last updated:
20 June 2017