Having visited a number of practices over the last month or so, it is clear that all of them have been making efforts to get ready for their anticipated inspection by the Care Quality Commission, or CQC as it is more commonly known.
What has been interesting has been the differing approaches taken by each practice to deal with the requirements and the issues which they see as needing attention.
I think the issue is that the CQC guidance on premises is so woolly that if you read it three times you will get three different answers as to what you need to do. For instance, one practice I spoke to has replaced all the worktops in their treatment and consulting rooms with Corian worktops, for infection control purposes. Another practice doesnt see this as an issue. Many practices are concerned about the carpet they have in their consulting rooms and whether they need to replace it with a vinyl flooring, yet the BM guidance suggests carpet in consulting rooms is acceptable.
There is obviously a great deal of confusion of what is necessary and what isnt. I tweeted about this (@surgerysurveyor) when I got back from an inspection the other day and was contacted by James Hedges, the Press Officer for CQC, who kindly pointed me in the direction of a link which may help:
He also provided a phone number which GPs can call if they have any queries: 03000 616161.
Hopefully this should enable any one who is confused by any CQC premises related issues to ask a question specifically related to their practice.