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The waiting game

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.

    http://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/fa627249-1db8-4401-81d2-d28d52b0ecf6?utm_source=The%20British%20Medical%20Association&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=6584006_GP%20e%20newsletter%2016%2F12%2F15&dm_i=JVX,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 be...no 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."

    ENDS

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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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  • Vinci Ho

    I agree that there should be a reliable , transparent and accountable system to inspect standard of GP practices, hence identify the 'bad apples' . The fact that the head of CQC was exploiting these bad apples as example to generalise a conclusion that GPs had failed as a profession . The comment was derogatory , denigrating and disdainful and worst of all ,propagated through a well known GP-hated ,right-winged government PR media machine. It begs the question of whether this is part of the political mission to destroy general practice of this country in its current form?
    With some public authority and power ,the head of CQC must know his opinion can be very influential appealing to all groups in the society . Personally biased opinion with sensationalism is clearly irresponsible considering what he is representing .

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  • The words ego, air and head come to mind. Go batter another profession.

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  • The first problem with the CQC is that it makes quality judgments on things that can easily be measured rather than the things that matter most. The second is that it has no facilitative function. There are inevitably a few GPs and practices that are incompetent or even bad and these need dealing with. But the overwhelming majority are trying to produce a good service in spite of the constraints around them and the shortcomings of their own teams, individuals and resources. The CQC should be helping practices that underperform to develop and improve their services rather than slagging them off. When a patient drinks too much eats too much or fails to care for himself we don't tell him to go away and not darken our doorstep. We try to help him rebuild his life and turn himself around. That is what doctors are for. It looks as though Professor Field has forgotten this. The CQC has an attitude problem and it should have a GP leader that has the strength to change it.

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  • Took Early Retirement

    I quite liked the PN's comments. I think she was right. By the time I left GP, in the area where I worked, there were no "bad" doctors. I mean by that clinically incompetent or financially dishonest ones; everyone can have a bad day when the empathy well run dry.

    However, back 15 years and it was not always so. I had a patient who was a PN at a single-handed GP surgery. She told me (and I had no reason to doubt her) that she had to do the Saturday emergency surgery. (She was not a NP- they didn't exist then.) The GP left her a book of signed scripts; she would see the patient, ring GP with the story and he/she told her what to prescribe. By the time I heard this, the GP concerned had retired.
    This is the sort of shite care that went on in some places. Very few I would hope, and hopefully none now, though from what one hears it occasionally is happening.

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  • Maybe
    But what is going on when such divides are going on at the top

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  • I completely agree, an apology is definitely needed to the vast majority of GPs and their staff who are providing an excellent service in the context of unprecedented demand from patients. If no apology is issued I will lose confidence in the CQC as an impartial body.

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  • Took Early Retirement

    I wonder if she'll get it. Time for someone other than me to report him to the GMC for issuing statements likely to frighten patients.

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  • Field should go.
    Hunt should go as well

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  • He certainly has guts o is it just broad shoulders? Either way resignation now is probably the only way out - Wonder how supported his "partners" feel now! Certainly is looking like a GMC referral is needed!!

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  • Steve field should resign

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  • He should not be in his post. He is a disgrace to General Practice. He made life difficult to all the GPs. He should resign immediately or he should be kicked out.

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  • I agree with the GPC.

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  • GPs should stop being so defensive and recognise that there are bad practices. If they were whistleblown the CQC could focus on them for a fraction of the cost and institute helpful remedial action with efficiency.

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  • Agree,

    Steve Field holds no viable position.

    He was in the perfect position as a GP to get the job done at the CQC.

    Instead he has alienated GPs, and made no real difference to the quality of care in the UK beyond ensuring a lot of boxes got a lot of ticks.

    He should resign

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  • Both Steve Field's smug comments and the entries on this board show how divided and often selfish the GP fraternity has become. The complex interests of the leaders of the profession, selecting a role or position in which it is not too difficult to make ex cathedra statements that go down well with The Daily Mail, other media and politicians, and to be seen, without much real - read: clinical - responsibility, 'always in control' (otherwise you'll be hung out to dry) has much to do with this. In the meantime the DoH is making the most of this disunity, which of course extends to much of healthcare in the UK, applying the time-tested principle of 'divide et impera'. Suspension of the CQC would be most appropriate: I am convinced that the amount of money (and rising) spent on running it is not in any proportion to care quality improvements achieved.

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  • Whilst there is no doubt that areas of primary care can be improved, Prof Field's comments are too much stick. As a GP, I tend to respond more to the carrot approach. The sad thing is that, despite my enthusiasm (call me deluded if you wish) the primary care environment is toxic. I don't mind change, progress, or innovation. In fact I get bored with the same old-same old. But we are the solution, not the problem. Give us the resources and time to innovate and we'll show you what we can do. We know CQC is a failing organisation, as hospitals are still in adequate, care homes still close down etc. If inspection made a difference, this wouldn't happen. Prof Field, far from being an ally in primary care as we hoped, has shown nothing but treachery. He has "lost the dressing room".

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  • I couldn't wait to see the back of this ruthless man, but then
    I saw Her Ladyship's comments early in the discussion.
    Probably the guy is not such a villain after all.

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  • Wow collective unity for one calling for the profs resignation....! hes obviously misjudged the mood in the profession to make a statement such as this.

    With even Dr Gerada coming into the forum today as well as Dr Bakers comments and now the GPC motion all the big shots are uniting!

    i wonder if they could come together for once to save this dying profession from the government and particularly the present ruthless health minister ?

    Must say as an ex GP trainee from the west mids in Prof Fields patch actually i wont say i miss him if he decides to step down but then again im sure we'll probably see lord field of Bellvue sooner or later after all the work he has done for this govt against the interests of the profession that made him who he is;

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  • Vinci Ho

    What goes around , what comes around. 'People do whatever on earth, the holy one watches them up from the sky.'
    I still think Jose deserves what happened today because of the way he treated our medical colleague.

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  • Watched smarmy Steve Field at Health Select Committee.

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  • Vinci Ho

    Yes . The 'Special One' is now the 'Sacked One'. Just hear on Sky news

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  • I left UK to work abroad long time ago. At that time the press described General Practitioners as the cream of the cream of NHS Doctors. There was fierce competition on regular and locum posts in General Practice. Today There is shortage of GPs every where.Non urgent appointment to see my GP is two weeks(unbelievable).Prof Field is wealthy, healthy,relaxed GP who has lost reality of UK economy situation and lack of resources.Instead of going to court to close underperforming surgeries
    in his opinion he should have contacted wealthy business men and billionaires like Richard Branson to help the NHS to open more surgeries. The public I have no doubt do not care about the qualifications of the doctor as long the GP is nice to his patients, appointments made quickly and waiting list is shortened then patients are more happy.

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  • S F must have known what the reaction would be..as his performance on the cttee revealed it won't make any difference....will a CBE be enough?

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  • The CQC is a tick box exercise which does not improve patient care. Rather it gives an opportunity for inspectors to vilify practices for minor bureaucratic infringements and it certainly disadvantages deprived, inner city small practices. The GP inspectors seem to relish the opportunity to criticise others, thus I am not surprised by Fields totally inappropriate comments
    There is no alternative but to demand an apology and his resignation and this should by voiced strongly by the RCGP,GPC & BMA

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  • Well done Maureen and Clare - if there were emoticons on this site I would hold up a glass of bubbly to you.

    In the meantime, I hope you can really put your money where your mouth is by signing my petition asking for his public apology to GPs and expulsion from the CQC. And whilst you're at it - you may wish to reflect on his fellowship status with the college. He is certainly not smelling of good standing where I am coming from.

    https://www.change.org/p/care-quality-commission-and-royal-college-of-gps-prof-steve-field-needs-to-be-expelled-from-cqc-and-publicly-apologise-to-all-gps?recruiter=77017535&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=share_for_starters_page&utm_term=des-md-no_src-no_msg&fb_ref=Default

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  • I left the uk in 2013 because it was shi#e

    now it seems to me it is uber shi#e

    Best decision i ever made.

    The problem in the UK is that there are too many imbeciles leading the profession into the abattoir . We all know who these people are, some of them have been mentioned in the article, some of them have even posted in this comments section.

    i suggest that if the prof resigns it wont make the slightest shred of difference in any of your lives or careers. What will happen is that another drone will come along and it will be business as usual.

    Abroad i must say that these people are insignificant; the heads of the colleges have NO say in your day to day lives; The GP "leaders" actually represent the profession because if they didnt GPs just wouldnt engage because they are truly independent.


    so for now there is no DR MB, DR CG Prof F representing me, i represent myself and take care of my patients as I SEE FIT

    These people are figureheads of a system and removing them makes no difference to the actual system you are subservient to. Remove yourself from the sytem and you win your lives back!

    ADIOS COMRADES

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  • The Chief should have been aware of best practice in political correctness that pavades our global society before that statement was made.If I were in his shoes I will quickly make a U turn before it is obviously too late.

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  • On the CQC website currently:
    Bellevue Medical Group Practice
    We have not inspected this service yet
    Bellevue Medical Centre, 6 Bellevue, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B5 7LX
    (0121) 446 2000

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  • I assume college members have rights to censure former leaders who disrespect the profession ?

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