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GPs go forth

NHS England and CQC deploy clinical staff to coronavirus frontline

NHS England and the CQC have deployed clinical staff to frontline practice to support the NHS response to coronavirus (Covid-19).

In NHS England’s letter to GP practices last week, NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens said that ‘clinically-qualified’ staff at NHS England and Improvement are ‘now being redeployed to frontline clinical practice’.

The CQC – which announced last week it was immediately suspending all routine inspections – also said that clinically-qualified CQC special advisors have ‘already returned to the frontline’.

In a letter to healthcare providers, CQC chief executive Ian Trenholm said: ‘Clinically qualified CQC special advisors have already returned to the frontline to help with the wider national response; we have offered the DHSC, Public Health England and NHS England our staff where they have relevant skills and a number have been seconded already; and we expect to be using our customer contact centre to start taking non-clinical COVID-19 calls from next week in support of 111.

‘In addition, we are asking our teams to stand ready to help any other part of the national effort whether that be in the public or private sector.’

He added: ‘We hope this reassures you of CQC’s commitment to offering the health and care system all the support possible to ensure that people – those who use services and those who work in them – are kept safe during this global health emergency.’

Mr Stevens said that ‘urgent’ work is also underway to deploy ‘clinical academics’ as well as medical and nursing students – with the scheme to be finalised ‘in the next week’.

He added: ‘All appropriate registered nurses, midwives and AHPs currently in non-patient facing roles will be asked to support direct clinical practice in the NHS in the next few weeks, following appropriate local induction and support.’

Health secretary Matt Hancock announced earlier this week that over 5,000 medical students and nearly 19,000 final-year nurses will graduate early to join the NHS coronavirus effort.

The GMC has also written to 5,000 recently-retired GPs asking them to come back to work.

Readers' comments (14)

  • I don’t work for the CQC I work for the NHS.which is clear in my post.We have zero hours contracts and have been told that they will lapse on 1st April until things settle- so no twiddling at home on full pay.
    Hope this confirms that I am some one you need to beware of.

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  • Standing back from the banter here, it’s clear that we have suffered a near terminal deterioration in trust between the profession and certain public bodies - GMC, CQC, NHSE etc.
    One thing that needs to change is that we need to start to practise evidence based policy making.
    The analogy with screening is interesting. No less than Sir Muir Gray famously remarked that “all screening does harm”. Does he mean that screening is universally bad? No. That screening has costs, benefits and unintended consequences? Of course. And yet regulation is viewed as an unarguably and invariably good thing - and the more the better.
    The CQC is a bad regulator. We need better quality regulation - “Right touch regulation” as the PSA puts it. The GMC needs to improve the quality of its regulation too. To lose the backing of virtually the whole profession is surely evidence of failure.
    Paradoxically, we need people drawn from the ranks of the critics here, to reform the regulators. But they would not enjoy the ride. And may not even be admitted.
    No easy answers. But as we get through this crisis, we should look at how we radically change these regulators. We need a healthy, happy and motivated workforce to get through this and the next crisis and the one after that. If the CQC and GMC do not change and change soon, we will not have that workforce.

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  • WHERE are all these redeployed doctors working???

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