GP practices rated “outstanding” are better funded, BMA research findsBMJ 2016; 353 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i2769 (Published 17 May 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;353:i2769
General practices rated as “outstanding” or “good” by England’s Care Quality Commission receive more funding per patient than those rated “inadequate” or “needs improvement,” research by the BMA indicates.1
The research looked at 2814 general practices rated by the CQC in 2015, cross matching their ratings against their funding. The results showed that practices rated as “outstanding” or “good” by the CQC received £152 (€190; $220) and £140 per patient, respectively, whereas practices receiving the lowest rating of “inadequate” received an average of only £128 per patient, while those marked as “needs improvement” were allocated £111 per patient.
Chaand Nagpaul, chair of the BMA’s General Practitioners Committee, said, “This analysis shows there is a clear link between the amount of funding a GP practice receives and the rating they are allocated by the CQC.
“Despite this, the CQC takes no account of resources available to a GP practice when they grade their care, even if this leads to GPs and their staff being publicly shamed with an ‘inadequate’ or ‘needs improvement’ rating.
“This is wholly unfair given the obvious impact that funding has on the ability of GPs and staff to run their practices, and which will impact on the CQC’s own rating system. The research also demonstrates the wide disparity between funding for practices, which is completely unacceptable.”
The research was undertaken as part of the BMA’s Urgent Prescription for General Practice campaign, which is attempting to highlight the workload and funding issues facing general practice.
A motion at a special conference of local medical committees (which represent GPs at a local level) on the crisis in general practice, held in January, agreed that the average level of funding for general practices of £141 per patient was “wholly inadequate” and that all practices should receive at least £200 per patient per year.2