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CQC & N.A.P.P. Working Together

Care Quality Commission

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health care and adult social care services in England.

CQC currently regulates all hospitals (both NHS and private), care homes, home-care agencies, dental practices, ambulance services and community-based healthcare services. CQC inspects all of these services to make sure they are meeting national standards of quality and safety. Reports from these inspections are publicly available from CQC’s website

From April 2013, CQC became responsible for regulating and inspecting all GP practices across England.

Inspections of GP practices – 2012 pilot report

Recently CQC undertook a pilot to explore how inspections of GP practices should work.

A report from this pilot is available from the CQC website here

The report reflects the work NAPP carried out to help the regulator to engage with PPGs as a valuable source of people’s views and experiences of the care they receive from their GP.

CQC inspectors had varying success contacting and seeking information from PPGs during the pilot. Only 50% of the 42 practices involved had a PPG. They were managed either as a virtual online community or as an independently chaired group that is advised and supported by the practice.

Where a practice had an independently chaired group the CQC inspector contacted either the chair or another representative for a telephone or a face to face interview. The information gathered was useful and was used to reach a decision about whether the practice was meeting the essential standards of quality and safety.

The report includes a recommendation for further discussions to be undertaken with NAPP and representatives from individual PPGs to consider how CQC can work more effectively with patient participation groups with the aim of developing some methodology and guidance for inspectors and PPGs to use from April 2013.

We will be working with CQC to take this work forward and will share updates with you as things progress.  

Care Quality Commission PPG Group Sounding Board

In May and June 2012 CQC and NAPP ran three workshops to look at how best to work with PPGs in the future and what CQC would need to do to prepare for this. CQC also worked with some PPGs in a series of pilot inspections during Summer 2012. A full report from the pilot exercise was published on 21st November 2012 and a link to this appears below. This report sets out how CQC would approach the monitoring of GP practices from April 2013.

PPG participants from the summer workshops were then invited by CQC to join a small time limited working group of PPG members and representatives to help produce a guide for PPGS on CQC, its work in primary care and how PPGs might work with the regulator. This ‘sounding board’ had its first meeting with CQC on the 15th January 2013. Please click here to read the report from the meeting.

A further meeting of the CQC PPG sounding board was held on 17th March 2014. A report from the day can be found here.

The consultation about CQC’s new approach to inspections, including the proposed key lines of enquiry they looked at during the above meeting, is live from the 9th April.  Please take a look at the proposals and send CQC your views:

If you have any comments on the report or on how we should be working together, please do contact Clare Delap or Jay Harman from CQC at:

CQC Guide for PPGs

Following the work of the Sounding Board, the Care Quality Commission published ‘A Guide for working together, the Care Quality Commission and patient participation groups’, in June 2013.   Those of you who attended the N.A.P.P. conference will have seen copies. This guide was jointly developed between N.A.P.P. and CQC with the input of a number of PPG representatives. CQC are extremely grateful to those participating PPG representatives for all their helpful comments and suggested changes to the text, and hope that all PPGs will find this a useful introduction to CQC and to their inspections. CQC are planning to write to all PPG Chairs in the coming weeks welcoming them to working with CQC. The Guide can be found at  or click here.