Professor Steve Field, of health regulator CQC, is to introduce new-style inspections of GP practices, which will start in April 2014 and will involve a CQC inspector, a GP, a practice nurse or practice manager and a trainee GP.
Inspectors will visit every clinical commissioning group area in England once every six months, inspecting a quarter of the practices in that area.Every practice will have been inspected by April 2016 and given Ofsted-style ratings.
From January, new inspections will also focus on GP out-of-hours services.
We need to make sure that everyone, from the most well-off to the most disadvantaged, can get access to really good primary medical care; this is something which I intend to champion as chief inspector.
When something goes wrong in general practice, it has the potential to affect thousands of local people.
GPs don't work in isolation, so we will also be considering the quality of communication between out-of-hours care and other local services, including GP practices, care homes and emergency services.