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Ofsted-style ratings to be introduced for GP surgeries

GP surgeries are to be given Ofsted-style ratings, and poorly performing practices could be forced to close, the health regulator has warned.

The Care Quality Commission has announced that England's 8,300 GP surgeries are to be assessed, and that from October those that are rated "inadequate", and don't improve within six months, will be placed in special measures.

If, after six months, there are no signs of improvement, the practices could be forced to close.

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CQC: 'We don't want to close surgeries'

The chief inspector of GP practices says closing failing surgeries will be a last resort.

Professor Steve Field from the health watchdog Care Quality Commission has spoken to ITV News about a trial to give GP practices a rating.

Those which under perform could be placed in special measures and face closure if they do not raise their standards.

Professor Steve Field Credit: ITV News

In some surgeries with support the practices can improve and that's fine, but it might be that the doctor in the surgery is a clinician that's acceptable, but is struggling to manage the building and manage the business. It might well be that merging that practice with a local practice might be better or if that doctor worked in a bigger practice. NHS England would then be able to do other things about providing care for the patients, so it's not just about closure. We don't want to close surgeries. We need them, but it's about the care that's provided for the patient.

– Professor Steve Field, Care Quality Commission

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