1. August 2012 14:59
The majority of doctors want at least a month’s notice before being inspected by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), a new survey has found.
A poll by the Family Doctor Association of 100 GP practices across England revealed that 67% would require more than 30 days’ notice, 12% called for two months’ notice, 9% wanted three months’ and 12% need between three and six months.
A spokeswoman said the Association “demands” that a minimum of a month is given for routine inspections by the CQC.
The CQC has the right to visit GP practices without notice but has said the majority of practices usually get one or two days’ notice.
Practices now have to register with the Commission before April next year. The CQC will inspect practices at least once every two years.
But the Family Doctor Association explained that GP practices are unlike other facilities the CQC inspects. “The CQC forgets that general practice is not like the hospital or nursing home sectors that they regulate,” said the spokeswomen.
“What happens if they demand to inspect a single handed practice and the doctor has just left for a holiday? What effect will it have on patients who have pre-booked a doctor appointment if at very short notice the CQC demands that the registered manager, usually a GP, is available for them?”
The CQC said it was considering its notice period as part of its inspection pilot. “Most other services registered with CQC receive no notice period when we carry out an inspection,” a spokesperson said. “To ensure our inspections do not impact on patient care during inspections a variety of notice periods are being tested, from no notice up to a 10 day notice period.”