CQC questioned on impact of inspections on BAME GPs

THE Care Quality Commission has been called upon to examine the impact of its inspections on GPs from Black Asian and Minority Ethnic communities.

The RCGP Council recently voted unanimously to pass a motion calling on the CQC to share details of any plans to explore whether or not there is evidence of the conduct or outcomes of its inspections being affected by the ethnicity and country of qualification of practising GPs.

The motion also asks the CQC to commission an independent review of inspections of GP practices rated ‘requires improvement or inadequate’ over the past five years to assess if there is an association between these outcomes and the ethnicity or country of qualification of the GP partners – and taking into account considerations such as population size, number of doctors and levels of deprivation in the communities they serve.

Should an association be found, the RCGP Council wants the reasons to be explained, with a view to tackling evidence of less favourable treatment of BAME GPs and their practices. It believes this would improve transparency in CQC processes and build confidence in the organisation.

College Vice Chair for External Affairs Gary Howsam recently wrote to the CQC with a number of questions and concerns raised by College members on the issue. Senior leadership at CQC responded to these concerns, acknowledging the importance and outlining their approach to addressing them.

Dr Howsam said: “The College’s BAME Action Plan commits us to delivering positive change for all our Black Asian and Minority Ethnic members and we will continue to work constructively with the CQC towards an improved system of inspection that is supportive of GPs and keeps patients safe as we move away from the immediate crisis of the pandemic and into recovery.”

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