GPs to be placed in special measures, under new NHS guidelines

15 July 2014

GPs to be placed in special measures, under new NHS guidelines

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt is set to introduce plans to put failing GP practices into special measures if they are consistently seen to be failing their patients.

He will announce that the Care Quality Commission (CQC), which regulates health and social care, that they will have the power to place those GPs who are failing patients under special measures.

The move comes ahead of the CQC having placed 11 hospital trusts into special measures last year, and Hunt believes extending this power to do the same to failing GPs as well as care homes is a positive way to reinforce greater accountability within the NHS.

Although the CQC has not yet finalised how this system will exactly work regarding England's 8,000 GP practices, it has outlined its plans to close unsafe care homes or hand them over to another operator to deal with inadequate care that CQC inspectors come across on their visits.

Mistreatment.com regularly assists members of the public in advising them about how to complain about the service provided by their GP, whether they want to make an official complaint, or to commence a potential medical negligence claim where the care has been extremely poor.

The British Medical Association (BMA) feels that the move could lead to greater distrust of GPs by patients and that it risks inflating the few problems that come across at certain GP practices and creating a culture of blame and suspicion amongst patients.

Care home regulation to come first

Hunt's insistence on giving power to the CQC to regulate care homes more effectively comes after 19 deaths at the Orchid View care home in Copthorne, Sussex, as well as news that some GP surgeries are failing to deal with basic hygiene, retention of medical records and in ensuring all medication is in date.

Hunt told MPs last month that the lessons the Mid Staffordshire NHS scandal "need to be applied to the care home sector, to general practice, to all out-of-hospital care, every bit as much as they apply to NHS hospitals".

Taking action against your GP practice

GPs are upset about recent reports that individual GPs who fail to spot signs of cancer will be named and shamed and that surgeries that do not keep over-60s out of hospital will have a red flag put on their entry on the NHS Choices website.

If you or a loved one has been affected by poor care from your GP practice, Mistreatment.com can provide you with free advice about your patient rights and what your options are. Whether making a complaint or medical negligence compensation claim, the specialist teams at Mistreatment.com are able to help.