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GP warns new ratings could lead to shortage of doctors

A GP has warned that new Ofsted-style ratings for surgeries could lead to difficulties in recruiting enough doctors into the profession.

Dr Richard Vautrey, who is deputy chair of the British Medical Association's GP Committee, tweeted that a system designed to improve standards could have the opposite effect.

The Care Quality Commission has announced that surgeries which face 'inadequate' ratings under the new system could be threatened with closure.

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It could get worse not better with damaging & simplistic @cqc forGPs rating scale making it harder to recruit GPs http://t.co/jBIgCa1iKb

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More: Planned GP rating system 'confusing and inaccurate'

Planned GP rating system 'confusing and inaccurate'

The Care Quality Commission's planned Ofsted-style rating system for GP surgeries will "confuse patients and won't give them the accurate information that they really need", a leading medic told Good Morning Britain.

Dr Richard Vautrey, deputy chair of the British Medical Association's GP Committee, said "to boil the quality of care down to four simple standards is simply not good enough."

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New regulations could see more doctors face watchdog

This new regime for GP surgeries could also see more doctors referred to the doctors' regulator, the General Medical Council.

Niall Dickson, chief executive of the GMC, added: "Whenever CQC's new inspection system raises concerns about the competency of individual GPs, the matter will be referred to the GP's local responsible officer and if necessary to the GMC.

"Family doctors are now subject to regular checks, but the inspections in England are bound to expose areas of weakness as well as good practice."

The move follows a similar regime introduced for hospitals which was announced after the Stafford Hospital scandal.

More: Poorly-performing GP practices will be 'forced to close'

New regime to 'call time' on poor GP care

A new regime, which will see GP surgeries given Ofsted-style ratings and potentially forced to close if they don't come up to standard, will "call time on poor care", a regulator inspector said.

Professor Steve Field, the Care Quality Commission's chief inspector of general practice, insisted "most GP practices provide good care" but said that these measures would help to "drive up standards in those that are not providing the services people deserve."

Most GP practices provide good care, we have confirmed this in our pilot inspections so far. But we can't allow those that provide poor care to continue to let their patients have an inadequate service.

I want to do all I can to drive up standards in those that are not providing the services people deserve.

Special measures will firstly promote improvement, but where practices do not improve, working with NHS England we will call time on poor care.

– Professor Steve Field

Poorly-performing GP practices will be 'forced to close'

doctor
Under a new regime, surgeries will be rated outstanding, good, requires improvement or inadequate. Credit: PA

Failing GP surgeries could be forced to close, the health regulator has announced.

England's 8,300 GP practices are to be assessed and given Ofstead-style ratings by inspectors, the Care Quality Commission said.

From October, those deemed "inadequate" will have six months to improve for face being placed in special measures; if they have not improved after six months in the failure regime they could be forced to close.

Exceptionally poorly performing practices will be placed straight into special measures.

Inspectors will be assessing if practices are safe, effective, caring, responsive to people's needs and whether or not they are well led.

A similar regime was introduced for hospitals after the Mid Staffs scandal.

Read: 'Inadequate' NHS trust faces special measures

NHS trust 'working to address' inspectors' concerns

The head of an NHS trust facing special measures after inspectors rated the organisation "inadequate" said they are already "working to address" criticisms.

East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust chief executive Stuart Bain said:

Much of what is in the report we have already recognised and we are working to address.

The report does recognise the committed and caring nature of our staff of which we can be very proud. Our task as leaders of the organisation is now to work with our staff and our partners including the Clinical Commissioning Groups to address the issues that have been raised and ensure we provide the residents of east Kent with high quality health care.

– Stuart Bain

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Children's care 'ineffective' at special measures trust hospital

Children's services at a hospital managed by an NHS trust facing spacial measures have been deemed "not effective" by inspectors.

The indictment of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital in Margate is among the findings of the Care Quality Commissions inspection into the East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust, which has resulted in a recommendation to place the organisation in special measures.

Inspectors also said:

  • Surgery at the Kent and Canterbury Hospital was "inadequate."
  • A&E waiting times at the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford did "not accurately reflect how long people had waited to be seen."
  • The A&E at the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital in Margate was inadequate due to staff shortages.
  • There is a "worrying disconnect" between the trust's leaders and front-line staff.
  • They found evidence of "ineffective leadership" across a number of clinical services.

'Inadequate' NHS trust faces special measures

NHS
Credit: PA

One of England's largest hospital trusts should be placed in "special measures", inspectors said after they rated the organisation "inadequate."

East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust serves more than 750,000 people across five hospitals.

The inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) identified a series of problems at the organisation, including that risks to patients were not always identified, or when they were, not consistently acted upon.

A culture of bullying has also been flagged as a concern, and staff shortages in A&E, children's care and at night.

There were "care failings across the majority of services we inspected," the CQC's chief inspector of hospitals Professor Sir Mike Richards said.

Read: Hunt: 'I do not want simply to prevent another Mid Staffs'

Row breaks out over price of breast cancer drug

A furious row has broken out between a drugs company and the NHS regulator in England over the price of a new breast cancer treatment.

Kadcyal which is manufactured by Roche Products Limited can give patients with HER2-positive breast cancer an additional six months of life, but the regulator deemed it too expensive.

ITV News correspondent Nina Nannar reports.

NHS figures show 3.2m patients waiting for treatment

NHS England figures showed that over 3.2 million patients were awaiting treatment on the health service - the highest level in six years.

NHS England figures showed that over 3.2 million patients were awaiting treatment.
NHS England figures showed that over 3.2 million patients were awaiting treatment. Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

The statistics showed that 521 people had been waiting for over a year to start treatment and come as Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt launched a £250 million drive to eliminate "unacceptable" 12 month waits.

By the end of June, 93.8% of patients were facing waits of up to 18 weeks, NHS England figures showed.

The statistics confirmed the findings of an influential think tank which last month showed that waiting lists were at their highest level in six years.

The King's Fund report said that "cracks are beginning to appear" in performance due to growing financial pressures.

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