The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has revealed there are 1,200 GP surgeries in the lowest two categories meaning patients could be at "risk" or "elevated risk" on 38 indicators.
The Commission has published its assessments of all GP surgeries it uses to prioritise inspections under its in-depth regime which involves specialist inspection teams including GPs or practice nurses.
The lower risk catgories one-to four include 6,076 practices, 78% of all those in England, of which 3,797 are in the lowest risk category of band six.
The bandings are not formal judgements from the CQC and the information will be updated every three months for both providers and the public.
The CQC plan is to have inspected and rated every GP in England within the next two years, and has so far awarded two ratings of outstanding, on a scale of Outstanding, Good, Requires Improvement and Inadequate.
The two outstanding ratings were for Salford Health Matters in Eccles and Irlam Medical Practice 2 in Salford.
Professor Steve Field, chief inspector of General Practice at the CQC, said: "There is a lot of good and outstanding care taking place across the country as our data and recent reports show.
"While it is positive that 78% of general practices are currently a low concern based on the available data, there is no reason for complacency and standards must continue to improve.
"It is important to remember that the data is not a judgement as it is only when we inspect we can determine if a practice provides safe, high-quality and compassionate care.
"The data is a further tool that will help us to decide where to inspect and when."
Norman Williams, Immediate Past President of the Royal College of Surgeons, said:
"I am pleased that CQC is being transparent by making data on all aspects of health and care available.
"During my time as president this is something that I championed as information helps to drive improvements. It is absolutely right that patients are aware of the quality of the services that are provided so they can make choices about their care."
Dr Richard Vautrey, deputy chair of the British Medical Association's (BMA) GP committee, said:"Publishing data with no context about a GP practice before inspectors have even arrived will at best confuse patients and at worst mislead them. It will not give an accurate picture of how GP services are operating. The information does not take into account the differing circumstances GP practices operate in, including levels of deprivation in the community they deliver care to or the state of their facilities.
"These and other factors outside of their control, could have a major impact on how well a practice performs on this dashboard of indicators. Patients will not be made aware of this because of the simplistic way CQC is presenting the data.
"This system will add still further to the micro-managing of GPs that is already getting in the way of treating patients. The CQC must revisit these proposals if it is to gain the confidence of GPs and patients."
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