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GP leaders demand talks over 'mandatory NICE guidelines' threat

By Gareth Iacobucci

The RCGP has demanded urgent talks with the Government's new health and social care regulator after GPs reacted with outrage to the possibility of facing heavy sanctions if they fail to follow NICE guidelines.

The RCGP has demanded urgent talks with the Government's new health and social care regulator after GPs reacted with outrage to the possibility of facing heavy sanctions if they fail to follow NICE guidelines.

The planned clampdown, revealed by Care Quality Commission chair Baroness Young last week, has met with huge controversy.

College chair Professor Steve Field said commission chair Baroness Young needed ‘a better understanding of general practice'.



He said: ‘Baroness Young is new to this. Of course, we want GPs to follow the best evidence, but GPs don't just follow a patient with diabetes or hypertension. Most of the patients we see have co-morbidity, complex medical conditions.

‘You can't follow one guideline. It isn't as simple as she made out. So I understand her sentiments about demonstrating best practice, but I think people need to get a better understanding of general practice.'

Dr Peter Holden, GPC negotiator, said the GPC would discuss the issue this week but added he was ‘deeply unhappy' with the plans.

He said: ‘It's political and Treasury interference. That is not good for medicine. NICE is stuffed to the gills with high flying academics - many of whom do not have a full appreciation of the pressures and stresses of working in an under-resourced front line. I'm deeply unhappy with what is reported that NICE are going to do.'

Dr Dermot Ryan, a GP in Loughborough, Leicestershire, said: ‘Baroness Young has no medical background and patently knows nothing of health care. This latest diktat is rather like a five year old instructing an experienced pilot on how to fly a Boeing 747 using the manual. Disaster is predictable.'

Professor Steven Field, RCGP chair, has demanded urgent talks with Baroness Young of the Care Quality Commission Professor Steven Field, RCGP chair, has demanded urgent talks with Baroness Young of the Care Quality Commission Baroness Young, chair of the Care Quality Commission, pledged to make NICE guidelines mandatory, with sanctions for GPs who failed to follow them. Baroness Young: accused of knowing little about general practice after threatening GPs with sanctions if they fail to follow NICE

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