But thought also needs to be given to the practice team and its performance quality.
The RCGP's practice accreditation (PA) scheme is a voluntary quality improvement scheme which was announced in October 2010 and is due to be launched early in 2011.
With so much happening so quickly in general practice, you might not feel like applying for a voluntary scheme whatever the kudos it could earn the practice.
However, we have to think about the forthcoming requirement for practices in England to be registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) by April 2012. The PA's first stage matches up with the 16 CQC standards applying to general practice.
PA is a process which seeks to further improve care of patients and to support practice teams to do even better. It is a process which will complement what is happening with the revalidation of individual doctors by facilitating enhanced multidisciplinary team performance and quality of care, as well as improving how care is organised.
It should facilitate continuous quality improvement and help support commissioning by GP consortia. There will be benefits to patients and staff as well as ensuring patient safety. It is hoped there will be improved patient engagement with at-risk groups.
PA is an award and achieving its 'gold standard' will require a lot of effort by the practice team. It is a developmental process and involves a lot more than just ticking boxes.
It is a framework which will be offered in two stages, and if a practice is successful in gaining a PA award this will be a recognition of achievement and it will demonstrate compliance with the registration requirements of the CQC. However it does not follow that accreditated practices will be exempt from a CQC inspection visit.
The time table to complete PA is a maximum of three years. The practice will work through a secure interactive website. Stage 1 consists of 42 criteria that are of a 'pass-fail' nature and are the minimum standards required for CQC registration. In stage 2 there are 37 criteria which are aimed at team development within practice teams.
|Quality Care Commission|
Set up in April 2009, the CQC is the independent regulator of health and social care in England. Providers of all NHS primary medical services, including GP practices, must be registered with the CQC from 1 April 2012.
'The new registration system will bring all providers of health and adult social care under a single set of essential standards of quality and safety for the first time', the CQC's website states (www.cqc.org.uk).
'This means that people can expect services to meet the same essential standards across the care sector that are protecting their safety and respecting their dignity and rights.'
CQC essential standards
When GP practices are inspected the CQC will focus on 16 of these standards - those that most directly relate to the quality and safety of care. The 16 standards are:
1. Care and welfare of people who use services.
Practices will need to collect evidence that these outcomes have been met.
Both stages comprise six domains for which evidence is required to be collected:
- Health inequalities and health promotion
- Provider management
- Premises, records, equipment, devices and medicines management
- Provider teams
- Learning organisation
- Patient and carer, experience, involvement and responsiveness
Why apply for accreditation?
This is a chance to demonstrate excellence. In line with revalidation for the individual, it will lead to the development of a reflective organisation, one which responds to feedback and so is also a learning organisation as it constantly strives to improve.
PA is to be launched early in 2011 when it will be possible for practices and GP consortia to register an interest.
Just like most assessment processes, a fee will be required to take part. The amount has not yet been set.
If your practice is interested, check the RCCP website for updates or email the Practice Accreditation Team at email@example.com
- Dr Charlton is a GP principal and trainer in Solihull; and a GP appraiser and associate clinical professor at Warwick Medical School C
|CPD IMPACT: More More Credits|
These further action points may allow you to claim more credits.
Record all your learning with your free online CPD Organiser