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Independents' Day

GPC calls for Professor Steve Field's resignation 'forthwith'

The GPC has called for the resignation of the chief inspector of primary care, Professor Steve Field, at its meeting in London today. 

The motion says that the GPC ’has no confidence in the CQC’s current chief inspector of general practice’, and 'demands his resignation forthwith’, after he claimed that he was ’ashamed of GPs’.

It came right after the RCGP said Professor Field - a former RCGP chair - has ‘lost the confidence’ of GPs, and called for an apology.

Earlier in the week, Professor Field made a tirade of comments in the national media, claiming that he is ’ashamed’ to be a GP at times because of the care being offered by some practices.

He told the Daily Mail: ‘Sometimes we go into a surgery and it’s so bad we go to court the following day to close it down. As a practising GP, I’m quite ashamed that some of my colleagues are providing such poor care.’

Today, the GPC took the step of calling for his resignation. The motion - voted on by GPC members today - says: ’The GPC has no confidence in the CQC’s current Chief Inspector of General Practice and demands his resignation forthwith’.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, GPC chair, said: ’This motion demonstrates the dismay and anger felt by dedicated hardworking GPs across England following the recent unjustified comments made by the chief inspector of general practice at the CQC. 

’When the vast majority of practices are managing to maintain high quality care against all odds in the face of falling resources, staff shortages and rising patient demand, the chief inspector should be vocally supporting GP services and not undermining them.’ 

He added: ’It is clear that the CQC inspection regime is not fit for purpose. The current process is disproportionate, expensive and bureaucratic, and takes GPs and their staff away from spending time looking after their patients. It includes endless amounts of pointless paperwork, such as box ticking exercises aimed at scrutinising the details of internal practice meetings.

’The CQC has already had to perform a U-turn this year over its widely discredited risk banding programme which formed judgements before inspectors had even arrived at a practice.’

Dr Baker earlier said: ‘GPs are supportive in general of regulation, however the way Steve has gone about making misleading, unfounded and denigrating comments about the level of care that hard-working GPs provide to their patients is rapidly undermining the concept of regulation.’

She went on to add that as a result of Professor Field’s ‘sensationalist and non-evidenced claims’ about the how bad the level of patient care is, he has ‘clearly lost the confidence of the profession.’

‘He repeatedly makes sensationalist and non-evidenced claims about how bad the level of patient care is – which must inevitably scare patients,’ Dr Baker said.

‘As the chief inspector of general practice, Steve needs to be seen as being fair and impartial, but given the scaremongering comments he has made this is no longer the case. To be quite frank, he has now clearly lost the confidence of the profession.’


Readers' comments (84)

  • Well said Dr Baker. It was obvious you were furious at the Health Select committee. Well done

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  • Maybe we need to now seek collective legal advise about the competence, reliability, sensitivity and fairness of CQC process and the evidence for their high fees. Until then maybe our Professional leaders can demand that we pause the process and fees

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  • Maureen! Good on ya but I'm yet to restart my DD for your college. Continue like this and I might change my mind.

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  • i watched the select committee last night on catch up. What was striking was the political astuteness of Field with his evasiveness and smarming. I'm afraid that the body language between him and Nagpaul was very warm- they seemed to delight in each others presence.I thought Maureen did extremely well maintaining her composure against some extraordinarily hostile questioning particularly from Ben Bradshaw an ex minister of health who came across as petulant and spiteful and in cahoots with Field. It is well worth watching in its entirety. It takes some time to get started.,3X492,BLGNXS,E4NWP,1

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  • Well said Maureen
    Prof field ... You really MUST now resign
    Failure to do so would inevitably lead to total non cooperation with CQC if that will not happen already due to the outrageous proposed increase in fees from an unaccountable quango that is yet to demonstrate competence or effectiveness

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  • Nice to see all the big beasts appearing at the waterhole for the pre-April contract negotiation beano.

    Sadly, the GP waterhole dried up a long time ago and all the small beasts are looking a little emaciated.

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  • If the man has the slightest insight he must resign today.

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  • Professor Field is clearly prejudice towards GPs and therefore not fit to hold his position at the CQC so should resign with immediate effect!

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  • Just watched part of the select committee!!
    I am so glad I have left the UK.
    They have not got a clue about general practice.
    Good on you Dr Baker, keep up the good work.

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  • Well done
    But he may have some insights
    I asked sir Irvine once when he said we all know 10% GPs who don't perform...have you reported those in your area as you ask us to do?

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  • I could sit on either side of this fence having been employed in various general practices, and having gone through a CQC check. Sometimes it is useful to have a "bottom up" view.

    I think many good practices might have their heads in the sand, maybe a bit insular. It must it IS, horrible to be doing one's best and get ignored or slated for it so I empathise with those genuine GPs who don't just work for the money, but have an interest in great patient care and lead their practices into good management processes. I applaud you.

    However, I have worked in the pits of general practice, and as a practice nurse keen and motivated, and even a little quiet, it has been an incredible journey of experience from GP's "blackmailing" patients to get them to have "no smear no prescription" attitude, to having their staff working without breaks for 10 hours at a time. For some, you "good and caring" GPs, those working "under" you have observed very poor management and dismissive attitudes in how we should work together, have proper processes in place in passing on NHS monies to caries for patients. But no, for too many GPs it a hand to wallet/purse exercise, spend as little as possible, get your staff to work as if it is a charity, whilst some GPs run the biggest fuel hungry car, own two houses, and two holidays abroad a year. Some work "hard" in the delusion it is "their business" and therefore do what one likes.

    I was looking forward to the CQC check. I had faith they would scrutinise and find out what I feel too vulnerable in suspecting. We scored "good", but the CQC interviewer totally ignored all the management concerns I expressed and instead focused on trivialities that had no impact on patient care, even things personal to me that I have choices in that have no significance to the practice in which I work.

    Even more worrying about the CQC, is they also insisted we take on more "checks" of patients, yet they totally disregarded we have only one nurse with one room, in which to accomplish what would amount to doubling the appointment load. The CQC had no apparent insight that if one overfills the bucket, all one gets is a huge puddle.

    In my experience and observation, BOTH some GPs and the CQC need a good shake up.

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  • blah blah blah blah to the above

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  • Vinci Ho

    This is what I sent through a link to all Liverpool LMC members an hour ago about him:
    We have a Chinese saying,' the person who comes around to talk about controversies is exactly the person of controversy .'
    Vinci Ho

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  • @ practice nurse at 2:06pm. A well written comment and a useful perspective. No matter how annoying Steve Field has become, we should not loose sight of the debt that all GPs owe to their staff. Their job is just as impossible as ours and vastly less well paid.

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  • Publication date: 28 August 2013

    In response to the Care Quality Commission’s announcement of the new Chief Inspector of General Practice, Dr Clare Gerada, Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners, said: “We are delighted that Professor Steve Field has been appointed to this role.

    “As a GP and immediate past Chair of the RCGP, he has a long history of service to general practice and to his patients. It is really encouraging that the role will be carried out by someone who understands GPs and the challenges we face in delivering the best possible patient care with diminishing budgets and resources.

    “We know that Steve will champion general practice and the efforts of hardworking GPs in his new role and bring sense to the array of inspection regimes that GPs are already subjected to.

    “General practice carries out 90% of patient contacts in the NHS, yet receives only 9% of NHS funding. According to a recent RCGP poll, nearly half of GPs surveyed said they were no longer able to guarantee safe patient care and 85% of GPs thought the profession was in crisis. One of the major solutions to improving quality is to increase the funding for general practice, including increasing the number of GPs.

    “We look forward to working with Steve as the first ever Chief Inspector of General Practice to ensure that GPs are given the resources and support we need to deliver safe and high quality care for our patients."


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  • Well said Dr Baker
    Prof Fileld is bringing the entire profession in disrepute.
    At the same time although it's an issue money or lack of it is not the only cause of failure of some practices and those practices should be brought to the account regardless of the size - small or big, as big is not always beautiful

    With Prof Field, could somebody bring GMC to account please.

    Moderator pl don't 😷 me!

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  • Prof Field is no more than a government stooge. He has lost all credibility with his wild and ill judged remarks. Still, I am sure he will be rewarded with the touch of steel on the shoulder sometime soon. Watch the headlines. He'll be sure to get some glowing praise in the Daily Mail.

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  • Both 2.14 and 2.26 should be utterly ashamed of yourselves.

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  • Practice nurse 2.06 pm
    FYI I am one of those GPs forced one of the patient to gave smear. I was a locum GP in Liverpool and something inside told me to get this woman to have a smear done. She came to pick up prescription, I persuaded (in your language bullied her- yes in fact I did)!her to have a smear. Lo behold she had fungating carcinoma - went in surgery within days and whole street woke up to the news and flocked to surgeries for smear. That was in 1988.
    So you are wrong when you say GP do that only for financial gain

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