The information in this section of CQC Essentials aims to highlight how practices can demonstrate that they are consistently acting on feedback, data and other information to improve the service they provide.
The articles below also explain how GP practices can provide high quality care to specific groups including patients with dementia, those with learning disabilities, carers, asylum seekers and refugees and patients at the end end of life.
There is also advice on what the CQC will expect to see with regard to delivering the NHS Health Checks programme and providing GP 'fit notes'. For more details about the CQC's view of outstanding practice across its five key questions, see our Examples of CQC outstanding practice series.
Improving standards of care and acting on patient feedback
- Fundamental standards of care
On 1 April 2015, new fundamental standards of care were introduced. This article explains how the new regulations apply to general practice.
- Clinical audits
During a CQC inspection practices should be able to demonstrate an ongoing audit programme where they have made continuous improvements to patient care as a result of clinical audit. CQC inspectors will look for evidence that all four stages of the clinical audit process have taken place.
- NICE quality standards in general practice
Using NICE quality standards to conduct regular audits of performance can help practices to demonstrate that the care they a delivering is high quality and evidence-based during a CQC inspection.
- The Friends and Family Test
Ensuring the CQC hears directly from people about their experiences of care is central to its approach and the Friends and Family Test forms part of this.
Care for specific patient groups
- Looking after homeless patients in general practice
When the CQC inspects GP practices, it will look at the quality of care for people whose circumstances may make them vulnerable; this includes people who are homeless.
- End-of-life care
This article looks at the GP practice's role in end-of-life care and how the CQC will look at this issue on its inspections.
- GP fit note
The CQC will assess how practices provide people with advice on fitness to work and to help them return to work. Part of this will involve looking at how the practice uses the fit note (or Med 3) to do this.
- Caring for people with dementia
GPs have a duty to recognise those at risk of dementia, provide timely diagnosis and refer appropriately to specialist services. When the CQC inspects GP practices it will look at how people experiencing poor mental health are cared for, including those with dementia.
- Caring for carers - what does outstanding care look like?
This article explains what is meant by the term 'carer' and give examples of good and outstanding care for carers in general practice from CQC inspections.
- Care of people with a learning disability in GP practices
This article explains what the CQC expects to see practices doing to provide good quality care to people with learning disabilities. It also highlights examples of good and outstanding practice in this area.
- NHS health checks
The CQC will look to see how well people are supported to live healthier lives during its inspections. One measure of this is whether people aged 40-74 have access to NHS health checks.
- Translation and interpretation services
Are practices expected to provide access to translation services or interpreters for people whose first language is not English? This article explains the CQC's view on this and what this means during inspections.
- Registration and treatment of asylum seekers and refugees
When the CQC inspects practices it looks at how they provide care to different groups of people. One of these groups of people is 'people whose circumstances may make them vulnerable', which includes asylum seekers and refugees.
- Reasonable adjustments for disabled people
GP practices have a duty to make reasonable adjustments for disabled people to enable them to access service. This article explains what the CQC expects to see during an inspection.
- Sexual and reproductive healthcare
Dr Anne Lashford describes what high quality sexual and reproductive healthcare looks like in general practice and explains how the CQC will assess this during its inspections.
- Personalised care and support planning
CQC inspectors will want to see evidence that people who use the practice and those close to them are involved as partners in their care and care plans will be a key part of this.
Demonstrating a high standard of care
- Agreed principles for defibrillators, oxygen and oximeters
The CQC will check that practices are able to immediately respond to the needs of a person who becomes seriously ill. It will expect practices to have defibirillators, oxygen and oximeters and for staff to be trained in CPR.
- How to show outstanding practice in minor surgery
This article explains what practices that provide minor surgery can do to demonstrate they are outstanding during a CQC inspection.
More CQC resources
- View the full CQC Essentials series on Medeconomics
- CQC's recommended reading to help practices meet regulations and prepare for an inspection