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Independents' Day

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)

  • At least one good deed by GPC

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  • Unusual cruelty is another charge. We have been waiting 60 working days for a response to our inspection .

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  • this is what we want to see positive action to support GPs. well done and hopefully reflects a new change in direction from talking to doing. Well done GPC.

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  • How pathetic. How utterly utterly pathetic of the BMA. CQC has been causing havoc for years, they haven't many practices left to inspect before they switch over to the 5 year inspection process so they will have inflicted their Stasi methods on every practice before the BMA has any hope of a judicial review coming to a conclusion, by which time the CQC will have dropped back to a 5 yearly cycle.

    If the BMA had done this 4 years ago, gret. Now they have waited until the horse has bolted to find that there is after all a process to try and close the door beforehand.

    The BMA continues to be utterly useless and years behind the curve

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  • We found the inspection was also very unfair and would question how CQC can fully assess a practice in one day ?? my previous experience in banking .... compliance took at least 2 weeks for each individual branch, a costly system to all !

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  • Overdue, but well done. More please.

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  • Karma is a wonderful thing!

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  • Vincenzo Pascale

    OLE'!! for GPC

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  • Praise where it is due. As one practice that was screwed over by CQC I fully support this action to start using the dry powder for what it was intended for. Let's hope this is the start of the fight back for General Practice.

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  • At least! Basic Human Rights to be able to contest easily an administrative decision! And during that contestant action, the CQC decision being suspended! Unless REAL immediate danger for the public! But which real danger to the public can come from a appraised/revalidated GP???
    The CQC inspection should be a pedagogic one, helping the GP to manage better his surgery, not a repression one!!!

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