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Independents' Day

Red (tape) alert

Editor’s blog

We are now officially on the highest alert for coronavirus (although we have been since January, in reality). As the newspaper headlines scream, hospitals are having to save beds in preparation, there will be far more Skype calls and will be ‘Covid-19 Incident Coordination Centres’.

It’s good to see that the Government is taking this seriously. But there is a red line in emergency preparedness – CQC inspections will continue. Phew.

There is no reason CQC visits should continue when all health authorities should come together

True, practices have had to close and undergo deep cleans, and healthcare workers are at far greater risk of developing the virus. But can you imagine the chaos caused if HR certificates were slightly out of date?

Realistically, there is absolutely no reason CQC visits, appraisals and – as I said last week – online bookings should continue when all health authorities should come together to mitigate the effects of the virus.

And you never know – maybe once we have tried life without these assorted bits of red tape, we might realise they are not that essential in the long term.

Jaimie Kaffash is editor of Pulse. Follow him on Twitter @jkaffash or email him at

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Readers' comments (8)

  • Lions lead by donkeys.
    Hee haw. Time to start a glue factory

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  • Dear Jamie
    Please go the extra mile
    Please raise this story to a national level
    The CQC which believes its improving health care is doing the very opposite

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  • As a 'retired' GP, what really finished things for me and drove me to retire (earlier than I would have preferred) was the petit-mindedness and total irrelevance of the CQC and appraisals.
    Now they need me back, but don't recognise just how offensive senior doctors find this whole attitude. Furthermore, as has been so patently clear, 'older' doctors (i.e. retired.... ) are obviously in the higher risk group for this inevitable pandemic.
    O.K. our practice had a fantastic CQC report just before I retired and my appraisal each year simply rubber stamp that I am doing 10 times more study and meetings than is necessary, but this bureaucratic nonsense is intolerable and not something I can work with. Sorry mr politician.

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  • After 33yrs at the coal face CQC did it for me; I resigned. At a time of presumed emergency the NHS now want to call me back. If they had listened to my bleats about the bureaucratic gold plating 2 yrs ago I may have a little more respect. General Practice has been in a state of recruitment crisis for 5 years. It takes a microbe and a load of hype for them to now take the situation seriously.
    I genuinely think I've done my time. From 1:2 rotas. 24/7-365 Red book contracts and five service reorganisations [CCGs through to CCGs].
    As I now probably fit into the Covid19 health risk group i'd rather keep my head down and continue to take my pension that I've worked for over the decades thank you.
    If the NHS need more help then there is now an army of Part-time docs; maybe they can be asked to step up to the mark rather than trying to knock me off the Pension bill.

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  • cannot increase the part time stuff cause of the pension tax - too risky. i have my ppe. one mask though that will last about 15 mins at most. guess i will have to hold my breath for the other 8 hours and 45 minutes. so glad the NHS is so well prepared and everyone is pulling together to support each other and not putting its staff at risk. If i put cellotape over the mask, so its covered on one side, would that work as a filter? just asking in case.

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  • Azeem Majeed

    Thanks Jaimie. Good points.

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  • Jaimie you are bang on as usual.... we can all see that CQC and NHSe are not there to help general practice.... this crisis has highlighted it more than ever in case anyone was in any doubt over their intentions..... with self isolation the system will crumble.... anyone daft enough to work with a sniffle will face accusation of killing off their elderly patients.... if the PPE is inadequate the solicitors will have a field day if there is a fatality of any staff member... and the partners can take the blame for it whilst calling back the online bookings, and fending off the CQC at the same time.... I predict that this episode will drive more GPs out of practice as soon as they can....

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  • Thanks Jamie, good article. Curious you have a point. Health and safety reasons. Class action for supplying sub standard masks to 2nd class citizens the GPs. Gross Negligence Manslaughter and corporate manslaughter if anyone dies using the placebo masks?

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