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CQC Essentials: Disruption to services - notifying CQC

How and when to notify the CQC if your practice is unable to provide services to patients.

This article relates to the CQC key question: Is your practice safe? 

There are circumstances outside a provider's control which can disrupt the delivery of services.

This could, for example, include the effects of extreme weather (snow, floods) or damage to premises. Such circumstances can be an extremely stressful time for patients and GP practices and it is important to ensure services return to normal as quickly and safely as possible.

Notifying the CQC

Practices (providers) are legally required to inform us when there is a disruption to the service which may temporarily prevent them from delivering the regulated activity (services). They require that details of certain incidents, events and changes that affect a service or the people using it are notified to CQC.

Regulation 18 ‘other incidents’ (Care Quality Commission (Registration) Regulations 2009) covers events that stop the provider carrying on an activity safely and properly. It states that registered persons must notify us without delay, of any relevant infrastructure, equipment, premises or other problems that prevent or are likely to prevent them from carrying on the regulated activity safely and, in accordance with the essential standards of quality and safety.

How do I make a notification?

If you have a CQC online account you must use our online notification forms which are available online, together with user guidance. Paper copies can still be submitted if you do not have an online account.

The ‘registered person’ must submit notifications. This will often be the registered manager, but they can delegate the task to an appropriate staff member. In extreme circumstances, where you find it difficult to complete the forms, please contact us; the inspector may offer to complete the form on the provider's behalf. In all cases, we need to know the name of the person who submits a notification and who to contact for more information. This information is requested in the forms.

Temporarily sharing premises with another practice (provider)

If you provide regulated activity in a location you are not registered for then it is a breach of registration conditions. However, we want to be sympathetic to providers to enable them to provide essential services to patients. If you decide to provide services at a location you are not registered for as part of your business continuity plan, it is important you contact us and discuss the options with is. In these extreme circumstances we will take a proportionate view and treat each case individually.

  • Professor Nigel Sparrow is senior national GP advisor and responsible officer at the CQC

More CQC resources

Picture: iStock

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