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Independents' Day

GP suspended after secretly filming CQC inspections

A GP has been suspended for two months after covertly filming CQC inspections and posting them online.

Dr Hendrik Beerstecher, from Canterbury Road Surgery Practice in Kent, was accused of misconduct after he recorded a CQC inspection at his practice in 2016 and then failed to take it down when asked.

A tribunal was held by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) in November, which concluded that Dr Beerstecher be suspended for two months as there was a ‘real risk’ that he would repeat his misconduct.

The tribunal heard that Dr Beerstecher published the recordings on the practice website alongside ‘offensive and critical’ comments, according to the GMC representative. This included provocative headings on CQC inspection documents, such as ‘boohoo’, ‘secrets’ and ‘orchestrated smear’.

The GMC said this behaviour was not in the interests of keeping his patients well looked after, but instead was ‘self-facing, motivated by his need to rally patients for his own cause’.

Dr Beerstecher claimed the comments on the website were meant to be humorous, and despite objections to his recordings, the CQC had since allowed subsequent inspections to be recorded.

However, the tribunal heard that in November 2018, Dr Beerstecher’s practice website was updated with comments justifying the recordings.

These said: ‘A lot of accusations have been levelled at the doctor, this is the reason for the audio recordings of consultations, to avoid further false accusations.’

The tribunal panel concluded that though Dr Beerstecher had a right to freedom of speech, his actions in refusing to take down the recorded material when asked demonstrated a ‘lack of insight and clarity’. It also found the commentary to be ‘offensive, ill-judged and inappropriate’.

MPTS tribunal chair, Kim Parsons, said: ‘The tribunal is of the view that Dr Beerstecher continues to fail to consider the impact his actions may have on the individuals affected, patients and the wider public confidence in the profession.’

‘The tribunal considers that there is a real risk of Dr Beerstecher repeating his misconduct, particularly in circumstances where his view differs from those involved in the regulatory process of where he considers himself or his practice under threat.’

CQC deputy inspector of general practice Ruth Rankine said: 'Our staff are dedicated to making sure that people get safe, compassionate and high-quality healthcare.

'This was a very difficult and upsetting experience for our inspection team who should be able to do their job of regulating and inspecting general practice without experiencing this type of treatment by medical professionals.'

Readers' comments (59)

  • " a very difficult and upsetting experience for our inspection team "

    Beyond satire.


    Just when are the BMA going to grow a backbone and do something? They could start by organising a fund to help Dr Beerstecher whilst he is unable to work.

    Dr Beerstecher, you are a hero sir. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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  • David Banner

    Whilst I won’t shed any crocodile tears for those poor lambs at CQC, 2 wrongs do not make a right. But oh the delicious irony of hearing CQC bleating about bullying and intimidation- priceless!

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  • Tantalus

    CQC inspections are a very difficult and upsetting experience for our practice teams who should be able to do their job of general practice without experiencing bullying nitpicking from CQC inspection teams......or is that just me?

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  • And how will suspending their GP help his patients "get safe, compassionate and high-quality healthcare"? Complete hypocrisy.

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  • Diddums!

    Can we coin a medal for medical heros such as he is?

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  • Elect him President of the BMA?

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  • this GP is a hero in my eyes. We should all support him against the bullying authorities.

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  • Cannons to the left of him, Cannons to the right
    And Dr Beerstecher still rode on
    That is the legend

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  • Cobblers

    I have sent Hank a supportive email and for the life of me I cannot understand why this got as far as it did and how the MPTS thought this worthy of suspension?

    I note, as yet, the transcription of the ’trial’ has not been posted. I will read it when it is and request it if it isn’t.

    This is a well-run practice in North Kent and I would be happy for my family to be registered there, which, in my book, is the marker of quality. But, of course, the CQC felt it to be inadequate because of poor leadership (seriously?? He’s just proved you wrong there) and probably the ink used on his policies was the wrong colour (TIC).

    Such was the sense of injustice that he videoed the revisit and the powers that be decided to make an example of him. Some of the GMC quotes are beyond travesty and demonstrate manifest inability to understand the loathing they are held by the profession they purport to support.

    Having upset the powers that be they decided to make and example of him “pour encourager les autres”. Make no mistake this was a high up vendetta aimed at him by our supposed superiors.

    Now I Am Not A Lawyer but no law was broken here, indeed transparency and truth were demonstrated and the CQC shown to be the bullying incompetent turds they are to the public. It is time in my opinion all CQC visits were videoed and I suspect this stupidity would stop. (I used to find audio taping CCG or PCT visits a useful moderator!)

    I will raise a glass to you Hank this weekend.

    Email me if I can be of help.

    Cobblers, retired GP Thanet.

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  • Is there such a thing as a Parliamentary Medal of Honour for brave Citizens? Dr Beersteche deserves one!
    He should have the red carpet rolled out for him for showing out these clueless bullies.
    A taste of their own medicine I call it.

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