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"New inspection regime will drive up standards and promote improvement", says Chief Inspector of General Practice

30 September 2014

Commenting on a pre-recorded interview with Sky News, Professor Steve Field, Chief Inspector of General Practice, said: "Where practices give cause for concern the main priority is for those practices to improve and the new special measures regime is designed to direct practices to improvement and give them time to improve."

CQC has been piloting its new way of inspecting GP practices, which includes GPs acting as special advisors on specialist inspection teams, between April and June 2014. The 348 pilot inspections conducted so far, confirm that most practices are providing high quality care, but a small number are providing very poor care.

Professor Field said: "General Practice is the jewel in our crown. Most GPs across the country are providing really good care despite rising demand and other problems such as old premises. Unfortunately the majority are undermined by a small percentage of GPs who are not providing the care our patients deserve. CQC will shine a light on those poor practices but will also celebrate good and outstanding practices and encourage improvement.

"Everyone should be able to receive good quality care from their GP practice, whoever they are and wherever they live in England. Our new style inspections will help to celebrate and promote good practice and ensure that GP practices in need of further support are identified so that they are better able to meet the needs of their local communities."

Professor Field’s comments follow on from the announcement in July of ‘special measures’ for failing GP practices, a key part of the new approach, announced in August 2014. Under the ‘special measures’ scheme, GP practices that provide very inadequate care will be offered support by NHS England and the Royal College of General Practitioners, but if they do not improve they ultimately face the threat of having their licence removed.

Last updated:
29 May 2017