There is a direct link between a higher number of nurses in a practice and the practice’s rating, Professor Steve Field, the chief inspector of the Care Quality Commission (CQC) said.
He told the Health Select Committee in parliament: “There is a direct correlation between inadequate practices on fewer nurses, fewer sessions, and outstanding practices, which have really good multi-professional care, using nurses, therapists, pharmacists.”
He added that “10% of practices in special measures don’t have any nurses.”
Field was there to give evidence about the current state of general practice, along with Chaand Nagpaul, chair of the British Medical Association GP Committee, and Maureen Baker, chair of the Royal College of GPs.
Nagpaul criticised the current CQC system, stating that at the moment “it feels threatening to GPs, it feels a judgement, what we need is for practices that are going through difficult moments to be able to put their hands up and say I need some help, I want to improve…”
Field agreed that the CQC should encourage excellence and not just be punitive, but “unless you invest in general practice it’s very difficult,” he added.
The CQC is starting to work with NHS England and the GMC on the workload associated with inspections, he also said, in order “to reduce the data load, the workload with general practice, so that we collect data once and that’s used for many different reasons.”
All English GP surgeries will have been inspected by September 2016 under the CQC, and so far more than 2,100 practices have been inspected.