Providers led by GPs of an ethnic minority background have raised with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) concerns that they do not receive the same regulatory outcomes from CQC as providers led by GPs of a non-ethnic minority background.
To investigate and respond to these concerns, CQC started a programme of work in February 2021. The focus of this has been on how CQC's regulatory approach affects ethnic minority-led GP practices and how it can improve its methods to address any inequalities identified.
The research found that ethnic minority GPs reported poor experiences of the inspection process and its outcomes.There was a feeling that their inspection outcomes could be “harsh” and “unfair”. They felt that CQC does not understand or appreciate the unique challenges that ethnic minority-led practices face.
In the survey of GP practices, ethnic minority-led practices were more likely to report that GPs in their practice experienced adverse impacts on their physical and mental health, a negative impact on their personal and/or family life, and had seen an increase in staff sickness as a result of the inspection process.
However, in this survey, ethnic minority-led practices were more likely to report that the quality of care improved following a CQC inspection.
Most ethnic minority-led practices in the GP practice survey served populations with a high proportion of socio-economic deprivation. Both GPs and CQC colleagues identified socio-economic deprivation as a challenging factor, as it can affect the practices’ ability to achieve national targets that we use in assessments of quality, such as the uptake of immunisations or screening among patients. Some inspectors and specialist advisors felt our approach did not recognise enough the surrounding context of practices, and that some practices are disadvantaged for not achieving similar outcomes to those with very different contexts and patient communities.
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