Sending the right message
We at DBG have found that it’s far from unusual for the team at the GP practice to be worried about an upcoming CQC inspection. However, we’ve also learnt that a good outcome is very much achievable as long as you recognise any potential shortcomings or concerns you may have and react proactively.
For example, one issue that comes up time and again from worried GPs is that of an inspector wanting to speak to patients without you present. It’s generally only a 5-minute conversation. Some of the inspectors will speak to the patients with practice staff present and some will ask to speak to them in private to make sure they don’t feel any unnecessary pressure. It’s as simple as that, so don’t be alarmed if the inspector wants to speak to a patient in private.
To feel more at ease with such a circumstance, you need to be proactive in communicating with patients every day. I would recommend that, for example, following any patient participation feedback, you put on the notice board what percentage feedback you got, which is a positive step in your communication process. And then, if there’s something they’ve asked for and the practice has implemented it, put it on the notice board and website. Shout about it. And if you have a positive CQC inspection, tell everybody!
At every stage communication is key. Make sure your team communications well – between themselves and with patients. The CQC loves seeing minutes of meetings, results of surveys, etc.
So, don’t think you’re alone; it’s all about a team approach and keeping the lines of communication open. And, if the dbg can be of any help, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.