Hospital Dr News

Link between CQC ratings and levels of GP practice funding, research reveals 

New research shows 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 BMA 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:

  • GP practices receiving an “outstanding” or “good” rating from the CQC received £152 and £140 per patient in funding respectively;
  • GP practices that scored the lowest rating – “inadequate” – in contrast on average received £128 per patient, while those marked as “needs improvement” were allocated £111 per patient;
  • The average level of funding for GP practices across England is £141 per patient, placing it below the level of resources received by most GP practices who were given an “outstanding” rating.

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 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. 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.”

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