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CQC Essentials: Requirement to display CQC ratings in general practice

From 1 April 2015 GP practices who have been awarded a rating by CQC need to display that rating in their practice and on their website. This article explains what practices are required to do.

This article relates to the CQC key question: Is your practice well-led? 

The public has a right to know how care services are performing. To help them to do this, the Government has introduced a requirement for providers to display CQC ratings.

GP practices who have been awarded a CQC rating (Outstanding, Good, Requires improvement or Inadequate) must display it in their practice and on their website, where people will be sure to see it. This is a legal requirement from 1 April 2015.

We have issued guidance about displaying ratings for providers to explain how to meet this new requirement Regulation 20A.

Physical display – what and where?

Posters populated with a practice’s most up-to-date ratings will be available for download from our website from 1 April. Using our posters will ensure that all the information required under the Regulation is included.

GP practices will have two posters available to download from our website – one showing the overall rating and ratings against the five key questions (safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led) and the other showing ratings against the six key population groups. We will provide two posters so they can be printed off at A4 size and still be legible and conspicuous.

You can see examples of the posters:

To ensure they are conspicuous, we expect posters will be printed in colour and at a minimum size of A4.

The waiting area of a GP practice is a good place to put your posters up, so they will be seen by as many people as possible.

Online display – what and where?

As well as displaying ratings in premises, GP practices must also display their ratings online if they have a website or websites. We have developed the CQC rating widget and the CQC rating template to help you display your rating online. These are available from our ratings display toolkit.

We strongly recommend that you use these materials to support your online display of rating, as they will ensure that you include all the required information and that it is conspicuous and legible.

Practices should display their rating on the main homepage of the practice website (s), or appropriate landing page(s) where as many people as possible looking for information about the practice will see it.

When to display

Practices have 21 calendar days to display ratings from the date the inspection report is published on the CQC website.

GP practices who haven’t received a rating from CQC do not have to do anything.

How will the new regulation be enforced?

If we assess that a practice is not displaying their CQC rating legibly and conspicuously, or it has been displayed inaccurately (for example, it does not reflect the most recent ratings or does not contain all the information required) we will discuss this with the practice. We will explain why we think it is not meeting the Regulation and ask the practice to take appropriate action.

It is a legal requirement to display CQC ratings. If appropriate steps are not taken, we may take enforcement action, such as (but not limited to) imposing a fixed penalty notice.

Examples of when we may take enforcement action include:

  • When the rating is not displayed at all – either online or within your premises.
  • When it is displayed illegibly or inconspicuously and a practice refuses our request to display it legibly or conspicuously.

Action taken would be in line with our Enforcement policy.

Further information:

Professor Nigel Sparrow is senior national GP advisor and responsible officer at the CQC

More CQC resources

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