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New BMA research demonstrates link between CQC ratings and levels of funding for GP practices

New research from the BMA1 has shown a link between the Care Quality Commission (CQC) ratings allocated to GP practices and the level of funding they receive. This is despite the CQC failing to take resources into account when publishing their verdicts on the performance of GP practices.

The new report examined the amount of funding each GP practice in England received per patient and cross referenced this with the recent ratings given to the GP practice by the CQC. Overall, results from inspections carried out at 2,814 GP practices in 2015 were included in the research.

The research found that:

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, BMA GP committee chair, 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 publically 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.

“NHS England needs to listen to the BMA’s Urgent Prescription for General Practice campaign and ensure that GP practices receive an uplift in funding that results in every practice in England getting the same high level of support. We also need the current CQC assessment system to end and be replaced by a proportionate and fair alternative, especially as a recent BMA survey showed the vast majority of GP practices had lost faith in its flawed inspection regime2. GP practices must not be unfairly judged when they are not being given the tools they need to effectively run their practices to provide care to the public.”

Ends

Notes to Editors

The British Medical Association (BMA) is the voice of doctors and medical students in the UK. It is an apolitical professional association and independent trade union, representing doctors and medical students from all branches of medicine across the UK and supporting them to deliver the highest standards of care

More information about the BMA’s Urgent Prescription for General Practice campaign can be found here.

1. The research can be viewed here.
2. The BMA’s survey of 1,900 GP practices about the failures of the CQC inspection regime can be read here.

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