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GPC funding body supports judicial review against CQC inspections

Exclusive The group that manages the GPC’s funding is supporting a judicial review against the CQC, arguing that its inspection process is not fair, equitable or ‘within the parameters of natural justice’, Pulse has learnt.

A letter from the General Practitioners Defence Fund to LMCs and GPC members revealed that the GPC was taking up the case of a practice that lost an appeal to the CQC about its inspection rating.

It said that, following legal advice, it would use this case to ‘ensure that the CQC process is set before the courts’.

This move comes after the Special LMCs Conference in January called on the GPC to look at ways GPs can lawfully withdraw from CQC regulation.

This represents the first concrete move by the GPC to challenge the CQC processes.

The letter, signed by GPDF treasurer Dr John Canning, said: ‘I am writing to inform you that the GPDF has undertaken to fund a Judicial Review concerning a CQC inspection.’

He said that the background to the case of the practice was ‘complex, and not for public comment at this stage’.

But, he added: ‘I am sure you agree that English GPs find the inspection regime of the CQC to be a heavy burden and one which takes time away from patient care.

‘In this context, the GPDF was made aware of a practice where the inspection report and, subsequently, the ensuing appeal/review process was, in our view, not managed appropriately by the CQC.’

He said the GPDF had taken legal advice. Following this, ‘the GPDF determined that this is a case where it has a responsibility to the GP community to ensure that the CQC process is set before the Courts for Judicial Review on the grounds that the CQC acted in a manner which is neither fair, equitable, reasonable nor operating within the parameters of natural justice.’

The application for the judicial review has been made in the name of the practice, which has not yet been disclosed.

He added: ‘It would not be appropriate to comment further during the Judicial process, but I trust you will agree that the potential risk associated with supporting our fellow practitioner and his practice is one which could only be managed on a national level and, perhaps, not by even the largest of LMCs.’

Pulse understands that the case concerns a practice in Derbyshire that was closed down by the CQC.

A CQC spokesperson said: ‘Our approach to regulation is proportionate and transparent. All providers have the right to appeal regulatory decisions’.

Readers' comments (29)

  • IF EVERYONE paid only last yearsCQC fees plus 1% on the grounds the "our client (aka HMG)has not put us in funds" WHAT is the government going to do? Shut us ALL down?

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  • Even that would be too much. We should be reimbursed for the time taken.

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  • Agree with comments re costs and arrogance of inspectors.
    Hope the GPC will win, and the practice can sue CQC for damages.
    Why do we have to Subscribe to CQC ? The idea of striking by refusing to pay is great!
    See also comment by M McCartney in BMJ 7/5/16 page 231!

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  • it would be interesting to hear what the rcgp and gmc think of the cqc.

    the cqc could be affecting patient care detrimentally by changing GP focus away from clinical care to focus on trivia. how many GPs have left because of unnecessary cqc pressure? how many patient's have been affected?

    the rcgp should be aware that GPs are not happy re: cqc and as the rcgp (the clue is in the gp bit) should have an opinion.

    if the rcgp does not endorse the cqc then would this help this case?

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  • Had ours a few months back
    2 weeks of sheer hell staying til 8pm every night
    PM new, didn't know what to do
    2 GPs were on leave
    As registered manager I did it all - practice definition, KOLY's, and the whole presentation
    One night couldn't sleep and came in at 2am to work all night on it
    Memorised and reeled off everything to do with mental capacity, information governance, audits, significant events, policies A-Z
    Result - got a good in every single domain
    Felt like I'd climbed Everest

    Good luck

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  • All this work to present to a bunch of poorly qualified failed pen pushers who would not be able to cope with any of the frontline line NHS work . That all but sums up the members of the regulatory bodies of this country .Ask for their background and qualifications to see objectively how stupid they really are

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  • I am writing as the PM of Dr Datta's Practice which was initially notified on 24th April that a visit would take place on 3rd May 16 as we did not get any paperwork we rang only to be told thatit was a wrong date!! We now have a new date for 25th May but unfortunately Dr Dattta the main lead was admitted to hospital last week as an emergency and is still recuperating. Our request to CQC for a alternate date has fallen on deaf ears denying us the fair and equitable assessment of the practice which has an unblemished record of 40yrs! That is CQC for us . Practice Manager

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  • CQC is regulatory body but still has to follow the law of the land. CQC report to office of NHS England that is accepted even it was wrong.
    Use recently retired GP to report against CQC to teach CQC leseon

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  • |Anonymous | GP Partner|11 May 2016 7:28pm

    All this work to present to a bunch of poorly qualified failed pen pushers who would not be able to cope with any of the frontline line NHS work . That all but sums up the members of the regulatory bodies of this country .Ask for their background and qualifications to see objectively how stupid they really are

    Thank you for insulting a workforce that you know nothing about. I have read all the comments here. Stop bashing CQC they are doing a job set out in law. They also inspect far more than GP practices, but that seems to be outside GPs powers of vision.

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