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GPs to fall under remit of new patient safety watchdog from 2023

GP practices will be included in the remit of a new patient safety watchdog, due to come in from 2023 under the new Health and Care Bill, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has said. DHSC said that it expects the new Health Services Safety Investigations Body (HSSIB) to be ‘fully operational’ in England from April 2023 – ‘subject to parliamentary clearances’. 

It confirmed that the statutory independent body will investigate NHS care in GP practices, although it said that the HSSIB’s ‘focus is likely to be predominantly on investigating patient safety incidents in NHS trusts’. The body will also investigate care provided by the independent healthcare sector.

RCGP vice-chair Dr Gary Howsam said: ‘It is important that we have further details about how this regulator will interact with general practice, and the expectations it will have of GPs and our teams, including ensuring GPs are not implicated for systemic issues out of their control.’

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