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UK considers postponing registration of GPs as health service providers

This article was originally published in Clinica

Executive Summary

The UK’s Department of Health is considering postponing the registration of GP practices as official healthcare providers– defined in this context as service-commissioning and purchasing entities in their own right – under the planned restructuring of the NHS. All providers of “regulated activities” in health or social care are obliged to formally register with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) service regulator, as part of a new process that “establishes essential levels of safety and quality”. Primary medical service providers – ie general practices, out-of-hours primary care services and NHS walk-in centres – are required to do so from April 2012, but the DH is proposing that GP practices, specifically, be obliged to do so from April 2013 instead. The proposals are subject to consultation; the deadline for responses is 29 July 2011.

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