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In January 2022, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) reported its findings in relation to research that explored the impact and experience of CQC regulation on ethnic minority-led general practitioner (GP) providers. This important piece of work was undertaken in response to historic concerns, which were also highlighted by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP), that ethnic minority-led GP practices received poorer ratings and experiences of regulation than their non-ethnic minority-led counterparts.
In this paper, we explore the research that was undertaken by CQC. We consider the recommendations made and the impact of these on CQC itself, the ethnic minority-led GP providers that CQC regulates and the wider healthcare landscape. Furthermore, as CQC’s research identified that ethnic minority-led GP providers are often working in areas of deprivation and highlights the need for a systemic response, we draw on the work being undertaken by National Health Service England (NHSE) and Improvement in addressing healthcare inequalities. We outline the commitments made by system partners to respond to the issues identified during round table discussions.
CQC’s report has shone a light on inequitable distribution of resources among GP practices in areas of deprivation, which disproportionately affects ethnic minority-led GP providers. Therefore, we express the need for further work to affect meaningful and impactful change.
CQC monitors, inspects and regulates health and care services, including GP providers, to ensure that fundamental standards of quality and safety are met. In November 2020, the RCGP wrote to the Chief Inspector of Primary Medical Services and Integrated Care, Dr Rosie Benneyworth, to explain their members’ concerns that ethnic minority-led GP practices received poorer ratings and experiences of regulation than their non-ethnic minority-led counterparts. At the time of the letter, CQC had already commissioned work to explore and review the literature relating to ethnic minority GPs, although the …
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Contributors AS conducted the initial research discussed within the commentary, was involved in delivering the round table event and is an author for the work. DM has been involved with the work at CQC, was the led for the Regulators Pioneers Project, was involved in delivering the round table event and is an author for the work. EH has been involved with the work in the Healthcare Inequalities Improvement Team, was involved in delivering the round table event and is an author for the work. AM is the Senior Clinical Advisor to the National Healthcare Inequalities Improvement Team, organised the round table event and contributed to the commentary. RB was the Chief Inspector of Primary Medical Services and Integrated Care, co-chaired the round table event and contributed to the commentary. BO is the Director of the National Healthcare Inequalities Improvement Team, co-chaired the round table event and contributed to the commentary.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.