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GP leaders brand chief inspector's comments 'baffling and offensive'

RCGP chair Dr Maureen Baker has hit back at claims that GPs have ‘failed as a profession’, calling the comments ‘baffling and offensive’.

She was not the only GP leader to react to an interview Professor Steve Field gave to the Daily Mail at the weekend, with the BMA issuing a statement arguing that it was the ‘ineffective’ CQC that needed to be reviewed.

The CQC’s chief inspector of general practice told the Mail that he was ‘ashamed’ at the poor care being provided by some of his GP colleagues, with some surgeries ’so bad we go to court the following day to close it down’.

Dr Baker said she was ‘in awe’ of how well practices were coping ’in the current climate.

She said via Twitter: ’Comments by Prof Steve Field baffling and offensive. I am in awe of how well most practices care for patients in current climate.’

She later added: ’Steve Field’s job is to find poor practices and deal with them. If doesn’t happen he should be ashamed of CQC not the profession.’

Meanwhile, the BMA pointed out that the CQC has a track record of inaccurately judging GP practices, bringing up the flawed risk-rating systems published by the regulator last year.

Its statement said: ’[T]he CQC inspection regime has been widely discredited as being unreliable, disproportionate, ineffective and drowning GP practices in pointless paperwork when they should be treating patients.

’The vast majority of GP practices provide a good or outstanding service to their patients despite being under unprecedented pressure from rising patient demand, falling resources and staff shortages.’

GPC member and Birmingham LMC medical secretary Dr Robert Morley also took to Twitter to express his concern at the comments.

He wrote: ’Even by CQC’s own appalling processes only 1/25 inspected practices in special measures yet chief inspector says general practice has failed!!’

GP Survival media lead Dr Zoe Norris tweeted: ’Look @CareQualityComm - this interview and the headlines? Really REALLY bad. As in, people need to resign bad. B-A-D.’

Meanwhile, the CQC has confirmed to Pulse that Professor Field was quoted accurately and it had not made any complaint about the Mail’s report of the interview. One CQC press officer tweeted the interview was ‘excellent’.

Readers' comments (34)

  • Keep going like that and I might re do the DD that I cancelled recently for RCGP

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  • Tomorrow at 2:30pm should be exciting!

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  • 5:44

    A thorn between two roses! Perhaps he will 'pull a sicky'.

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  • 4% of GP practices are failing.
    100% of CQCs are failing.

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  • I'm sure Prof Field is devastaed by Maureen's withering attack.

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  • Vinci Ho

    I think it is all about credibility :
    ''According to the Chairwoman of Public Accounts Committee :
    There was an "alarming lack of attention to detail" when reports were prepared.

    On one occasion an NHS trust told the committee it found more than 200 errors in a draft CQC report, including data inaccuracies.
    "The fact these errors were picked up offers some reassurance but this is clearly unacceptable from a public body in which taxpayers are placing their trust," said Ms Hillier.''

    Quoted from BBC Health News article Care Quality Commission not yet an effective regulator, say MPs on 11/12/2015
    (I am not allowed to copy the whole article ,sorry)

    It can be common sense to declare there are really bad GP practices but it also begs the question of the 'accuracy' of the regulator considering the conclusion made by Miss Hillier. Based on the legal spirit of all benefits of doubt should go to the defendant. The head of CQC should think carefully before opening his mouth . Otherwise , how can we differentiate between an accurate prosecution and defamatory miscarriage of justice?
    Like GMC , CQC needs a lot of soul searching...,.

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  • Vinci Ho

    The prosecution must be proven to the extent that there could be no "reasonable doubt" in the mind of a "reasonable person" that the defendant is guilty.

    Question have we got the 'reasonable people'' in here?

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  • If there was no inaccuracy and Daily Mail has published a true account of what the Professor meant, I think it was the Professor's last field day !
    Perhaps it is time to say goodbye. And what a way to go, too? This was one bombshell no one expected!

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  • "Like being savaged by a dead sheep" to quote the late Lord Healey.

    I'm sure Steve is lying awake in a pool of cold sweat with dear old Auntie Mo on his case.


    Do they make cardigans with shoulder pads?

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  • CQC coming our way 5th January. Second day back after the long break, at peak busy time for seeing patients and I am having to take time out! Seriously have to question the sense in inspecting at that time! No doubt inspectors will have hung up their clipbaird for a few weeks over Christmas while we end up having to cancel prior arrangements over the festive period to get ourselves straight. They have flatly refused to re negotiate another date. Now they want six times more money? Are they actually being serious? Field's comments are depressing and unhelpful when we are suffering a recruitment crisis. Actually I would say possibly irresponsible.

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