CQC has pledged to build a process to enable GPs to present evidence of innovations to tackle health inequalities as part of their regulatory assessment.
The work comes as part of a joint project with Yorkshire and Humber Academic Health Science Network, to explore how regulation can capture and consider innovation in GP practices to respond to health inequalities.
CQC believes that regulation can and should be a lever to encourage innovation in reducing health inequalities while helping to share good practice between providers, as well as creating large savings in public expenditure.
However, currently, CQC inspections may not recognise such work, due to a lack of measurable outcomes. CQC says: “This may result in GPs perceiving that CQC does not value innovative solutions and potentially lead to lower job satisfaction and/or issues with the recruitment or retention of staff, which in itself could affect patient satisfaction or CQC ratings.”
A first step in developing new regulation for health inequalities will be a new online resource for both NHS GP practices and CQC inspectors.
CQC recognises that health inequalities may be associated with the following characteristics:
- socio-economic status and deprivation
- protected equality characteristics
- vulnerable groups of society
This work arises from the Regulators’ Pioneer Fund project: Regulatory recognition and sharing of innovative practice by NHS GP providers to reduce health inequalities, which began in September 2021.