College calls on Care Quality Commission for action to address impact of inspections on BAME GPs

RCGP Council has called on the Care Quality Commission for a series of measures to look at the impact of its inspections on GPs from Black Asian and Minority Ethnic communities.

Following an impassioned debate that included BAME GPs’ lived experiences of having their practices inspected by the CQC, Council members voted overwhelmingly to support all three parts of a motion, proposed by Dr Sonali Kinra and seconded by Dr Margaret Ikpoh, calling on the CQC to:

  • share details of any previous or ongoing and/or planned studies and data to explore whether or not there is evidence of the conduct or outcomes of its inspections being affected by the ethnicity and country of qualification of practising GPs;
  • work with the RCGP (at Officer level and involving representatives from the College’s BAME Task and Finish Group) to discuss how the availability and transparency of such information can be improved, and to ensure that Black Asian and Minority Ethnic GPs’ experiences of being regulated by the CQC are heard; and
  • commission an independent review of inspections of GP practices rated ‘requires improvement or inadequate’ over the past five years - including those practices which have been closed down due to CQC regulations -  to assess if there is an association between the outcomes of inspections and ethnicity or country of qualification of the GP partners, and taking into account considerations such as population size, number of doctors and levels of deprivation in the communities they serve. If an association is found, the Council motion calls for the reasons to be explained with a view to tackling evidence of less favourable treatment of BAME GPs and their practices, thereby improving transparency in its processes and building confidence in the CQC.

Council also recognised the invaluable and magnificent contribution of BAME GPs to general practice and patient care and reflected its belief that the strength of the profession is in its diversity.

The College has previously discussed with CQC the particular challenges faced by some Black Asian and Minority Ethnic GPs and the need to ensure they are well supported.  

College Vice Chair for External Affairs Gary Howsam also recently wrote to the CQC with a number of questions and concerns raised by some College members relating to CQC inspection activity, particularly the impact on GPs from BAME communities.  

The senior leadership at CQC has responded to these concerns, acknowledging the importance of the issues raised and outlining their approach to addressing them. Dr Howsam and representatives from the College’s BAME Group will be meeting shortly with the Chief Inspector for Primary Medical Services Rosie Benneyworth.

Dr Howsam said: “The College’s BAME Action Plan commits us to delivering positive change for all our Black Asian and Minority Ethnic members and we will continue to work constructively with the CQC towards an improved system of inspection that is supportive of GPs and keeps patients safe as we move away from the immediate crisis of the pandemic and into recovery.”

Further information

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RCGP Press office – 020 3188 7633/7494/7574

Out of hours: 0203 188 7659

Notes to editor

The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 52,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.