18 November 2014

RCGP Response to Care Quality Commission's Intelligent Monitoring for GP Practices

Dr Maureen Baker, Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners, said: “Every patient has a right to expect high quality and consistent care from their local GP practice, and it is crucial that we urgently address any variations in quality of care.

“But patients should be assured that the vast majority of practices are doing an excellent job of delivering care to the highest possible quality standards. Over 75% of practices show little cause for concern, with more than half identified as ‘lowest priority’.

“The new indicators are intended to help the Care Quality Commission focus its inspection activities but it is important to realise that they are intended as a guide only and do not provide a definitive assessment of the quality of patient care

“It must be also be recognised that many practices are struggling to meet quality standards due to factors beyond their control, such as lack of funding, significant increases in patient consultations and difficulties in trying to recruit sufficient GPs to meet patients’ needs.

“Family doctors want to do their best for their patients but we are carrying out 340m consultations a year – 40m more than five years ago. Since 2010, the number of patients visiting their GP has risen by over 120,000 a day. 

“We also have a desperate shortage of GPs in many parts of the country, with many practices finding it difficult to replace doctors who are retiring.

"To ensure patients can get the level of service they deserve, we urgently need to recruit 8,000 more GPs by 2020.

"That is why we are calling on the Government to support the proposals recently put forward by NHS England to shift funding from hospitals back into GP services in the community, expand the number of GPs in training and for incentives to encourage more GPs into under-doctored areas.

“We will also continue to work with the CQC to ensure that struggling practices are given the support they need to bring the care and services they deliver to patients up to standard.”

Further Information

RCGP Press office: 020 3188 7574/7575/7581
Out of hours: 0203 188 7659


The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 50,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.