Up to 95% of practices may not have read the CQC Guidelines yet

CQC Regulations came into force from 1st April 2013, and practices are already undergoing inspections. The registration process asked practices to certify that they meet the compliance standards set under the CQC regime, and practices are required to have made themselves familiar with the CQC Guidelines issued by the Care Quality Commission.

Although every practice has certified that they are compliant or that they have an action plan in place, alarmingly, anecdotal evidence suggests that up to 95% of Practice managers may not even have read the CQC guidance.

“We were the first independent organisation to hold CQC seminars for GP practices, and when we asked this question in 2011, hardly any hands went up” says Shabana Dehlavi, the editor of Everything CQC. “But what will be surprising to many is that the same applies, even today”.

If these straw polls were to be extrapolated to the general GP population, it would indicate that up to 95% of the practices have not read the Guidelines or gave up part of the way through, usually after reading just the first few pages. So if you too have not read the CQC Essential Guidance then it looks like you are in good company.

Most providers find the Guideline a difficult read because of the ‘bureaucratic’ language used.  Trying to ‘decipher’ the meaning of a single sentence can sometimes take quite some time, and most just give up mentally exhausted.

An example of this language is Prompt 3E about Fees, to be found on page 59 of the Guideline.

Contrast what the Guideline says:
“People who use services who pay the provider in full for their care, treatment and support and people who use services who enter into a separate arrangement with a service provider because they choose to pay for care, treatment and support that is not contracted on their behalf by a third party purchaser…”

What it means in plain English:
“If the patient pays for the entire treatment out of their own pocket, then …...”

The Guideline, is some 278 pages long, and it is not difficult to see why readers describe it as a cure for insomnia.

On a serious note, without a full understanding what the requirements are, practices are in danger of mis-declarations, and carrying on doing the wrong things for the rest of the year. This should be of great concern to GPs, especially Registered Managers, who may be held accountable.