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Independents' Day

CQC says GPs should be more involved in end-of-life care

The chief inspector of primary care has indicated that GPs could ‘do better’ when dealing with end-of-life care.

Discussing the issue at the CQC’s Board meeting yesterday, Professor Steve Field who is chief inspector of general practice, said that GPs were integral to end-of-life care and were involved across the board.

But Professor Field said ‘we could do better as we move forward’.

He suggested that more could be done to ensure that GPs were the essential link between practices, hospices and hospitals for patients approaching the end of their lives.

Professor Field’s comments come as end-of-life care hit the headlines in a damning report by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman earlier this week.

‘Dying Without Dignity’ revealed several examples of where patients and their families had negative experiences at the end of their life due to such things as poor communication, a lack of out-of-hours support and a lack of recognition that the person was dying.

In the same meeting, chief executive David Behan told the CQC Board that, as of 8 May, 826 GP inspection reports had been published, with 25 rated outstanding, 678 rated good, 92 requiring improvement and 31 rated inadequate.

It comes the day after GPC called for the CQC inspection ratings to be abolished.

Readers' comments (22)

  • stop surgeries getting clogged up with worried well and runny noses and well be able to be more proactive with the ones who suffer in silence

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  • Stop wasting our time with CQC inspections and Revalidation nonsense and we would have more time to look after poorly people.

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  • Prof Field
    I am afraid you have zero credibility amongst grass- root GPs
    If you as a so called leader of GPs looked at the issues that prevent GPs from taking a bigger role in the areas that we all want to do ie palliative care chronic disease management etc.
    you should be contributing to resolving the issues as to why we are so overworked, underfunded ,politically bounced around rather than adding to them with a regime which everybody well knows will make no difference to quality and safety but only makes things worse

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  • "GPs are ideally placed to...", "GPs could do more with...", "GPs should do more in...". Every bandwagon has their own proposals and they are all good but they need to tell us what we are going to stop doing so we can do more with their particular area of interest. Was at an asthma conference the other day and staggered by the lack of generalism in the room. If we did everything they said there that we should do as "minimum standards", we'd never do anything but asthma management.

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  • Like I suspect a lot of other GPs I used to do a lot of palliative care work, including daily visits ( sometimes multiple times a day) This has largely stopped in the last few years.
    1. Because the general workload has increased to such an extent that there just isn't time any more.
    2. The "palliative care team" have pushed us out and made it clear that they do not want us interfering except to sign whatever they ask.
    3. The move towards " protocols" and a "care pathway" has removed a lot of the supportive personal discussion and care that we used to give. Any deviation from this is frowned upon and liable to be criticised by team members who may well never have met the patient before, even if we have known them for 30 years.

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  • No - that's what a palliative care team is for. Shall GPs do ogds, angiograms and bronchoscopies too? Just a ploy to act as a mobile district nurse/social service,/charity all in one.

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  • What does Steve Field have to do with how much we do end-of-life care?!

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  • This comment has been moderated.

  • Dear Prof
    When you have a dying patient do you contact everyday and be more involved?
    What's that - no, you only work 1 day a week in GP.
    Sod off with your ideas that do not stack up with the full time GP with a full time patient workload.
    Of course it's important but so is everyone elses agenda.

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  • Like my GP monthly in Medway yesterday where the clinical officer threatened gps- ''patient will sue you if he gets a stroke and you haven't checked his bp' ha ha ha my foot:)

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  • if it's the CQC that's ending it's life - i'll be there in a flash !

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