The CQC will work directly with practices to inform its regulatory policy, it has said.
Until March 2022, the CQC will speak with practices about how they have tackled health inequalities and challenges around having their work recognised by the regulatory process.
It added that what the Commission learns from the project will inform its regulation policy and will form the basis of a toolkit to show practices how to evidence their own efforts in reducing health inequalities.
The project was launched with a £169,000 grant delivered by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s (BEIS) Regulators’ Pioneer Fund. It will be supported by the Yorkshire & Humber Academic Health Science Network.
The NHS was recently advised that hiring from local populations would reduce staff shortages while addressing health inequalities associated with unemployment.
Dr Rosie Benneyworth, chief inspector of primary medical services and integrated care said that GPs and their practice teams have ‘long been striving to find new and effective ways of working locally that address health inequalities in their area’.
She added: ‘This project gives us the opportunity to support innovation by working with providers to understand the environment that made innovative ways of working possible, and how regulation can properly recognise the positive impact that they have.’
By updating the regulatory policy, other practices can develop their own initiatives in ‘full knowledge’ that the system will recognise and appreciate the significance of their work in reducing health inequalities.
This comes after the CQC announced it would stop using QOF data to monitor practices, after deciding it was no longer a reliable indicator for performance in light of the pandemic.
Last month, at Nursing in Practice sister publication Management in Practice’s live event in London, Ms Benneyworth confirmed inspections for outstanding practices will not return for the ‘foreseeable future’.