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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)

  • 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 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.

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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!


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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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  • This comment has been moderated.

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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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