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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)

  • 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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