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GPs to be given more notice of CQC inspections

Practices will now have two weeks rather than two days’ notice

Ingrid Torjesen

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

The length of time that GP practices have to prepare for inspections by the Care Quality Commission will be extended to two weeks, the Commission has announced.

Under the new tougher inspection regime that is due to come into force in April, practices were to be given just 48 hours to prepare for standard inspections to prevent them from being able to over prepare, for example by hiring additional staff or tackling failings which might otherwise have gone unchecked.

As the Commission prepares to reveal which 12 clinical commissioning group areas have been selected for the first practice inspections, it has announced that practices in these areas will now be given at least two weeks’ notice of inspections rather than 48 hours. However, the regulator has reserved the right to carry out unannounced inspections at practices identified as being at-risk.

In a statement the Commission said: “This week the CQC will be sending out letters to 12 CCG areas chosen to form part of the first wave of new GP inspections, they have been chosen at random for a representative geographical spread.

“CCGs are being given at least four weeks advance notice that their area has been selected and GP practices in those areas will have at least two weeks’ notice of an inspection as opposed to the previous 48 hours, CQC reserve the right however to inspect unannounced at any time where a practice is identified as a risk. These inspections will only include practices that have not yet been visited by the CQC.”

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