Supporting practices

RCGP Peer Support Programme for practices placed in Special Measures

Purpose of the programme

The programme is intended to support practices needing to make significant changes to improve their services following inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

How does it work?

The programme provides a package of expert professional advice, support and peer mentoring from senior GPs, practice managers and nurse practitioners with specialist expertise in quality improvement coordinated by the RCGP. It will draw on insight and support from other local practices and professional leaders, for example, the Local Medical Committee (LMC) and Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

The RCGP support team will draw up a tailored plan for each practice in the programme. The duration and sequencing will be agreed at the outset, although reasonable efforts will be made to ensure the support adapts to changing circumstances in the practice. The focus is likely to include work to:

  • Help the practice understand the problems identified by the CQC
  • Support the practice to develop an action plan (or refine their existing plan) to address issues underlying the problems identified by the CQC
  • Provide direct advice and mentoring to GPs, practice managers and other staff as they work on improvements

The practice is at liberty to engage other support in addition to this programme.

Eligibility and cost

Any practice placed into Special Measures, where NHS England does not enact contractual action, is eligible to apply for this support.

NHS England or the delegated CCG will provide up to £10,000 of funding, for each practice entering the programme, providing the practice commits to participating fully in the programme of support.

What are the findings to date?

The RCGP undertook an evaluation of the pilot at the end of 2015. Read a summary of the pilot findings. [PDF]

Latest NHS England update


For more information, please contact

Special Measures Practice Support
Tel: 0203 188 7637 | Email:

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