England’s current GP inspection system misses crucial patient safety warnings, MPs hear

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: (Published 17 December 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h6850
  1. Adrian O’Dowd
  1. 1London

The current system for checking the quality of care provided by GPs in England is inadequate and fails to measure doctors’ fatigue, which can affect patient safety, leading doctors have told MPs.

Concerns about the system operated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) were voiced during the latest evidence session of the parliamentary health committee’s inquiry into primary care, held on 15 December.

MPs asked whether the quality of care provided by GP surgeries and their performance was a matter of concern, given that far fewer practices than schools, for example, were rated as outstanding.

Steve Field, chief inspector of general practice at the CQC, giving evidence, said that the standards used for CQC inspections were very different from those used for school inspections. “I think that it is a good picture that 85% of practices are either good …

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