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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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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.

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