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At the heart of general practice since 1960

5. Professor Steve Field

Chief GP inspector

05 prof steve field power50 2017 5

05 prof steve field power50 2017 5

Arguably no GP has had more of an effect on general practice in recent years than Professor Field.

He chaired the RCGP during the planning stages for revalidation and led moves towards forming practice federations, and then helped to shepherd in former health secretary Andrew Lansley’s controversial reforms, which led to the creation of CCGs.

But arguably his greatest legacy is setting up the CQC’s primary care inspectorate, a powerful body with the power to make or break individual GP practices in England.

And this should be a good news story – with 90% of GP practices rated as ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ after the first round of inspections, which was completed this year. Professor Field also points to the three-quarters of ‘inadequate’ practices that have improved since the inspection process began.

But the two-year exercise has cost £100m, which does not include the considerable hours of preparation, cancelled appointments and associated stress for practices preparing for an inspection. The regulator has also shut down 14 practices and has virtually united the profession in opposition to his clipboard army.

He also provided GPs with a touch of schadenfreude in November; having railed against practices that failed to provide good patient safety, his own practice was told it ‘requires improvement’ in that very domain.

On a personal level, it has been a horrendous year for Professor Field, who told Pulse he lost both his wife and father in the past 12 months; he credits his CQC team and practice colleagues for helping him through this tough period.

This following year, he expects to be branching out, including leading on the national review on child and adolescent mental health care.

Why influential

He can make or break your practice

What he says

‘I am proud we have completed a review of all GP surgeries’

Random fact

His daughters have completed their university studies with excellent degrees from University College London

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