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Why the CQC's KLOEs (Key Lines of Enquiry) Matter to the GP Practice

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When the CQC makes its inspections, it examines the GP practice with regards to five key questions that determine if the practice is:

  • - Safe
  • - Effective
  • - Caring
  • - Responsive
  • - Well-led

The CQC will be keen to ascertain if the GP practice is operating in line with fundamental standards of care, and the basis of their assessment is based on its KLOEs. In order to rate the practice, the CQC inspector will expect evidence to support his or her assessment of how well the practice is performing in line with the CQC's KLOEs.

Understanding your patients are the key to the CQC's KLOEs

When asking the five key questions, the CQC will want to determine how the services provided fit in with specific population groups. These segmented population groups are:

- Older people

- People with long-term conditions

- Families, children and young people

- Working age people (including those recently retired and students)

- People whose circumstances may make them vulnerable

- People experiencing poor mental health (including people with dementia).

How to pass the CQC inspection with flying colours

Some practices take measures to prepare specifically for the CQC inspection. However, understanding the way in which the CQC seek to answer the five key questions, and the context in which the CQC will examine that they are delivered, should provide plenty of opportunity for in-house training and procedural development. This will ensure that service delivery meets the standards required with every patient, every appointment, and every treatment given.

Consider how various population segments within your practice list will best access the services needed. There will be care strategies and processes that must be developed to ensure these patients are not disadvantaged and that the care and treatment given is appropriate for their needs.

When designing training, coaching, policies and processes, reference the Appendices to the NHS GP practices and GP out-of-hours services handbook. These describe the prompts that the CQC uses in its inspections and allows the GP practice to ensure an outstanding rating for services delivered. The best way of being prepared to provide evidence of excellence within the GP practice is to ensure excellence is achieved every day and not just to prepare specifically for a CQC inspection.

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