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Independents' Day

GPs vote to look at how to ‘lawfully withdraw’ from CQC regulation

LMCs have called on the GPC to look at how practices might refuse to comply with CQC inspections, but without putting GPs at risk of legal action.

At today’s Special LMC Conference, GPs voted overwhelmingly in support of the call to ‘explore all options by which GP practices could lawfully withdraw from engaging with the CQC’.

They also called on the GPC to abolish CQC regulation and instead look at an alternative model of self-regulation based on peer review.

Proposing the motion, Dr Jackie Applebee from City and East London LMC, said GPs ‘were not against regulation’ and that ‘advice from respected colleagues who also work at the coalface and also understand the pressures is always welcome’.

But she added that the ‘broad-brush, insensitive, heavy-handed approach of CQC inspections provokes anxiety in a profession already stretched to breaking point’.

Dr Applebee said that completely boycotting the CQC ‘would be perfect’ as ‘even the Daily Mail would find it hard to disagree if we argued we were refusing to co-operate with inspections as this freed us up to spend more time with patients’.

However, as ‘apparently this would not be lawful’, she added that GPs should ‘take inspiration from the junior doctors and student nurses’ and ‘enlist patients and take to the streets’.

Motion in full

That conference believes that over regulation and monitoring of the profession has eroded morale and had an adverse effect on the sustainability of general practices, and:

i) opposes any increase in the fees demanded of practices by the CQC and demands that all fees be fully reimbursed

ii) demands that GPC actively campaigns to abolish the regulation of general practice by the CQC

iii) demands that GPC produces realistic proposals for an effective peer led quality assurance scheme for general practice based on criteria that improve patient care and safety

iv) calls on GPC to explore all options by which GP practices could lawfully withdraw from engaging with the CQC

Readers' comments (26)

  • Why must they 'lawfully' withdraw. Just withdraw!

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  • avoid prosecution and being sebsequently struck off maybe?

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  • Move to Scotland/Wales? Alernatively create a Scottish/Welsh address for CQC avoidance? (Akin to tax avoidance by registering off-shore)

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  • They can't prosecute all GP practices if we all boycott it.

    Law only works when the majority adhere to a law so they persecute outliers.

    If all disregard a law it becomes unenforceable.

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  • Should have voted UKIP in May. Sheep have no right to object to the shearer.
    UKIP would have abolished CQC and saved the threatened six fold increase in fees
    You wont ever get change unless you vote for it.

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  • Not so sure about UKIP. Did you hear the way Nigel Farage attacked the non-consultant hospital doctors? And do we really wish to see the back of CQC completely? I don’t.
    Not all regulation is bad. We all agree that it was necessary to go to medical school and obtain our qualifications before we were able to practise right?
    I have never liked being told what to do but I have never liked working with dodgy partners in practices with dangerous ways of working either. The CQC is far from perfect but rejecting the concept of regulation just makes us look like we think we are above scrutiny and most of us are not actually that arrogant.
    The CQC process needs refinement and the BMA/LMC should be pushing for that. GPs and other providers of predominantly NHS services should be exempt from the fees.
    We are a profession of mostly decent and responsible people and we should not play into the hands of critics. I am all up for changing the rules but mass boycott sets a dangerous president and helps ensure that we protect the minority of colleagues who have poor standards. It would also leave individual rebels open to attack and it would probably be outspoken doctors, like those who care enough to comment here, who would be targeted. Be careful what you wish for!

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  • The trouble with the CQC is that its ethos is to judge rather than to improve. Its replacement (TICS? - Team for Improving Care Standards?) needs to be be judged itself on its capacity to improve practices rather than to condemn them. It should be locally rather than nationally based and be able to look at the care received by patients in terms of accessibility and acceptability of service but also relevance to need, efficacy, efficiency and (most important of all) caring and quality in consultation. It should only be condemnatory if a practice is not willing to change (given appropriate resource). And it should have money and training resources for practice development and improvement. It should already have been invented by the RCGP because quality of care should be what the College is about. The fact that it hasn't is a serious criticism of the College.

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  • Anonymous | Sessional/Locum GP31 Jan 2016 6:14am:
    "The CQC process needs refinement"

    Perhaps, you may be able to offer some suggestions how you can REFINE arrogance, ignorance, sarcasm and intimidation.

    Thankfully, we passed but the bitter taste remains from those power-crazed inquisitors

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  • to 12.14 from 6.14.
    Why be angry at me? Ok perhaps "refine" was a little weak. The whole thing needs reform - better? I am not offering suggestions on the detail. Don't you think these people are paid enough to come up with a proper plan themselves. I could help but they will have to pay me. No more goodwill here I am afraid.

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  • CQC does not need refinement or reform. It's needs termination.

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