Beginning of the process

Prior to the inspection you will usually receive a letter of notification and an inspector will phone to confirm this and to confirm the date.

Although inspections can be unannounced, you should be given some notice for routine inspections, with GP Practices receiving two weeks' notice and the CCG getting four weeks advanced notice. Be careful though, CCGs have been known not to pass this down the line. Out-of-hours services will get 6-8 weeks’ notice as they have to prepare far more information.

Once these communications lines between you and the inspector are opened, the CQC will write to the practice for information required, and you can also ask for clarification and guidance on what needs to be prepared. GP Practices have five working days to respond to this request, out-of-hours have 10. If you are unable to produce everything, submit what you can within the deadline, and follow up with the rest as soon as possible.
The inspection letter will also enclose “comment cards” and posters for display and distribution to patients on the day.

Primary Care Networks (PCNs)

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