The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has been awarded £169,000 to support innovation in general practice.
The grant is being provided by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), through its Regulators’ Pioneer Fund, which enables UK regulators and local authorities to help create a regulatory environment that supports innovation.
Announced by the CQC at the end of September, the funding will be part of a collaborative project with Yorkshire & Humber Academic Health Science Network (YHAHSN), which will focus specifically on ‘GPs working to reduce health inequalities in areas of deprivation’.
The project will look at the innovative ways that GPs have tackled health inequalities, as well as challenges around delivery and ‘having their work recognised by the regulatory process’.
From now until March 2022, the CQC says it will be working with primary care practices to find out about staff’s experiences of innovation and regulation, with learnings from this also set to help inform the body’s regulatory policy. The findings will also form the basis for a new toolkit, which will be designed to help practices to ‘develop and evidence their own innovative projects to reduce health inequalities’.
Dr Rosie Benneyworth, Chief Inspector of Primary Medical Services and Integrated Care said: “Innovation is central to good, responsive healthcare that focuses on the needs of people who use services.
“The ingenuity and agility of clinicians and professionals have been fundamental to how the whole health and social care system has responded to COVID-19. However, we also know that GPs and their practice teams have long been striving to find new and effective ways of working locally that address health inequalities in their area.
“This project gives us the opportunity to support innovation by working with providers to understand the environment that made innovative ways of working possible, and how regulation can properly recognise the positive impact that they have. Importantly, it also means that we can champion and share the excellent work that is already underway so others can develop their own initiatives – in full knowledge that the regulatory system will recognise and appreciate the significance of their efforts to reduce health inequalities.
“We are grateful to the Regulators’ Pioneer Fund for making this project possible and our colleagues at the Yorkshire & Humber Academic Health Science Network, who will be working alongside us.”