Practices Should be Prepared for CQC and Make Time for Insurance Reviews Too

As Britain prepares for a major rollout of various Covid-19 vaccines, over what is likely to be the course of several months, medical practices should make sure they stay abreast of what the regulators expect of them and have the right insurances in place, to cover any incidents or lapses in health and safety processes that could occur at a most high-pressured time.

Tensions are already high between the British Medical Association (BMA) and the regulator, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), with the BMA having written to the Government’s Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, to ask for the suspension of all but essential CQC inspections.[1]

This letter follows the CQC denying a request from the BMA to stall inspections, and a statement from the CQC that suggests it is pressing on with its intention to resume a schedule of practice visits and inspections that was paused in March 2020.

The BMA argues that practices cannot cope with the extra burden of bureaucracy that a CQC inspection involves, at a time when they are preparing for the Covid-19 vaccine and already coping with other pressures brought about by the virus.  

The CQC, on the other hand, has homed in on the vaccine preparation plans, reminding medical practices that it will be visiting and inspecting any unregistered flu or vaccine sites that are established as a satellite operation to the regular practice. 

The CQC has pointed out that practices have key responsibilities in this regard and, if working with other practices to operate a shared vaccination site, need to ensure that all practices update their statement of purpose or else nominate a lead practice that will handle all of the statutory requirements and ensure the site is risk-assessed, adequately equipped, of the standard required and offering safe treatment and service.

With so much pressure about to be placed on the shoulders of general practices across the UK, it is imperative that practices check their insurance protection is adequate, that no cover has lapsed and that no supplementary covers are required. Thorough risk assessments, covering all operations, satellite or otherwise, need to be conducted, filed and acted upon, if improvements are required.  Training of staff may need to be conducted, to ensure all are empowered to handle the roles expected of them, and premises need to be kept safe for the public.
Whilst, the BMA has told the Government it cannot have practices handling bureaucratic matters at this time, needing to have “all hands to the pump” instead, such checks on insurance protection are a vital safety net for practices under strain and time should be given to them.  With so many changes having taken place due to Covid-19, an insurance policy that has come up for renewal may not necessarily have the same elements or levels of cover as the previous policy, so adopting an auto-renewal approach may be risky.  It may also be that your adaptations mean that you require slightly different protection, or that you have new areas of the business that could increase your exposure.

If it would help you to have an expert review your medical practice’s insurance cover, assess if there are any potential gaps, or places in which extra protection would be advisable, please get in touch.  We have brokers with extensive experience in the medical sector and, having an expert work with you, could reduce the amount of time you have to give to this matter.   The more you can let an expert broker do for you, the less time you will have to be away from patient-focused matters.

Source:[1] https://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/news/regulation/gp-leaders-bid-health-secretary-to-stop-non-essential-cqc-inspections-during-vaccine-effort/