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GPs Michelin grade plan shelved

26th June 2006

The professional body for GPs has halted its bid to introduce a Michelin-style rating system.

The Royal College of GPs had been pushing the government to adopt a voluntary scheme of grading from April. But the suggestions were met with a lukewarm response by ministers and the British Medical Association.

Under the plan, surgeries were to be inspected by doctors, nurses and patients every three years and given a level from one to three.

It was based on an accreditation scheme which has been running for the last five years, but did not involve ratings.

The RCGP is now reviewing the project and undertaking further consultation with the profession, patients and other stakeholders

The Royal College of GPs had been hoping to reach a deal with the BMA and government, but both refused to publicly back the scheme.

At the moment GPs are not officially graded, unlike hospitals. But under the terms of the new GP contract they have to meet a series of performance indictors and the government is planning to publish the results of patients surveys.

The Royal College of GPs said it would not be pushing for the scheme to be introduced following concerns from its members that the scheme could be misused to rank doctors and have implications for workloads.

A spokeswoman said the college would now review the project and undertaking further consultation with the profession, patients and other stakeholders.

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