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Watchdog ranks GP surgeries

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gp nhs surgeryHealth watchdog the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has ranked almost every GP surgery in England in terms of risk of providing poor care.

The majority are of low concern, but 11% have been rated in the highest risk band by CQC.

Many of the elevated-risk practices had possible issues with appointments, mental health plans, and cervical cancer screening according to the BBC Report.

The CQC register will help target inspections.

The watchdog said the register did not necessarily indicate poor GP surgery performance.

“It is important to remember that the data is not a judgement, as it is only when we inspect we can determine if a practice provides safe, high-quality and compassionate care,” said CQC chief inspector of general practice Prof Steve Field.

“The data is a further tool that will help us to decide where to inspect and when,” he said.

Risk factors

The health watchdog ranked 7276 practices¬†out of the total 7,661 in England, and placed 864 practices in the “highest concern” category.

In about 3% of high-concern practices, patients stated they had difficulties in getting an appointment to see a GP or nurse.

However, surgeries that were not at high risk also saw patient dissatisfaction with appointments. In about one sixth of practices, patients had a limited ability to get appointments and services , the CQC said.

Potential issues in elevated-risk practices also included the provision of care plans for people with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or other psychoses, and potentially low numbers of women aged 25 to 64 who had received a cervical screening test in the past five years.

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