The Care Quality Commission (CQC) are the independent regulator of health and adult social care services in England. They make sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care and encourage services to improve.
They monitor, inspect and regulate services to make sure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety then publish their findings, including performance ratings to help people choose care. They also protect the interests of vulnerable people, including those whose rights are restricted under the Mental Health Act. They put the views, experiences, health and wellbeing of people who use services at the centre of their work, and have a range of powers they can use to take action if people are getting for care.
By law, all GP practices in England must make sure that the care and treatment they provide meet national standards of quality and safety. The CQC register GP practices if they can show them that they are meeting these standards. If GP practices are not registered with the CQC they will not be able to provide services. The CQC inspect GP practices to make sure they are meeting these standards, and can do so at any time if there are concerns about the the care provided. For more information on these standards visit www.cqc.org.uk
You can expect to be respected, involved and told what's happening at every stage.
You (or someone acting on your behalf) will be involved in discussions about your care and treatment.
You will get support if you need it to help you make decisions and and staff will respect your privacy and dignity.
Before you receive any treatment you will be asked whether or not you agree to it.
(Italic denotes example) Aneesa and her family are patients at a local GP practice. Aneesa's family have a basic knowledge of the English lanuguage but communicate more effectively in Urdu. Her GP practice provides information leaflets about common treatments written in Urdu.
When Aneesa's eight-year-old daughter needed antibiotics for a throat infection, she and her daughter could understand what was involved and why the medication was necessary, so they agreed to the GP's prescription.
You can expect care, treatment and support that meets your needs
Your personal needs will be assessed to make sure you get safe and appropriate care that supports your rights.
You will get the care that you and your GP agree will make a difference to your general health and wellbeing.
Your healthcare needs are co-ordinated if you move between care services.
Staff respect your cultural background, sex (gender), age, sexuality (whether you're a lesbian, gay, bisexual or heterosexual person), religion or belief and your disability, if you have one.
Andy is 65. He recently visited his GP after he started to get severe heartburn and had difficulty swallowing. After a medical assessment, the Gp suspected that Andy may have stomach cancer. He made an urgent referral for Andy to be seen by a specialist at a hospital. Early the next week Andy was contacted by the hospital to confirm an appointment for him to see the specialist.
When Andy went to the appointment, the specialist had a copy of the GP's referral form giving relevant information about Andy's medical history and his symptoms.
You can expect to be safe
You will be cared for in a clean environment where you are protected from infection.
Where appropriate, you will get the medicines you need, when you need them, and in a safe way.
You will be treated in a safe and accessible place.
You will not be harmed by unsafe or unsuitable equipment.
Your GP practice will take appropriate action if they suspect that a patient is at risk of harm
A GP practice is not accessible for people who use a wheelchair or have severe difficulty walking because it can only be reached by a narrow flight of stairs. It is not possible to have a lift installed in the building. The practice has fitted secure handrails to the staircase and installed a buzzer at the door to call for help.
Since the practice is still not accessible for some people, it provides a home-visit service fo any existing patients with disabilities. New patients who want to register with the practice are told about the stairs and, if necessary, referred to a local GP practice that is accessible.
You can expect to be cared for by staff with the right skills to do the job properly
A large GP practice employs several GPs and nurses. The pracice regularly monitors waiting times and appointment times to make sure they have enough staff to meet the needs of patients.
As a result, appointments are rarely cancelled or rescheduled.
You can expect your GP practice to routinely check the quality of its services
The partners of a large GP practice are committed to continuously improving the quality of the service they provide to patients. Patients are encouraged to provide feedback through comment cards and the practice website. The practice reception area has leaflets about how to complain, and their complaints procedure is on their website.
The partners hold a meeting once a month to review complaints and other feedback to agree how they will learn from the feedback and make improvements, where necessary. The practice's website gives information on how they have performed in national and local patient-satisfaction surveys, and what actions they've taken to improve the service they provide.