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Hunt praises 'courageous' Professor Field after GPC calls for resignation

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has leapt to defend the ‘courage and expertise’ of CQC chief inspector of primary care Professor Steve Field, after the BMA passed a motion calling for his resignation.

Yesterday the GPC issued a statement saying the committee ‘has no confidence in the CQC’s current chief inspector of general practice’, and ’demands his resignation forthwith’.

This followed an interview Professor Field gave to the Daily Mail in which he said he was ’ashamed of GPs’ providing poor care and claimed GPs ‘have failed as a profession.

Following the calls for his resignation and a separate demand from the RCGP calling for an apology, the health secretary stepped in arguing that his ‘credibility was beyond question’.

The CQC inspection regime has rated 85% of GP practices ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’.

However, in his comments to the Mail, Professor Field highlighted that 29% of practices had received a rating of ‘inadequate’ or ‘needs improvement’ in the safety domain of the inspection.

Professor Field said: ‘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.’

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt - who referred to Professor Field as a ‘former GP’ - said: ’Professor Field is a courageous and expert voice for patients – calling for improvements in general practice where necessary, but also recognising the excellent care taking place across the country.

‘A former GP and president of the royal college, his credibility is beyond question, and we absolutely back his independent judgements as chief inspector.’

CQC chief executive David Behan accused the CQC’s critics of failing to support the profession and patients by ignoring problems.

He said: ‘The work we do in both celebrating good practice and exposing poor practice is vital and we would expect everyone involved in the delivery and health and social care to support this work.

‘There can be no improvement without genuine transparency. Sometimes this will involve telling uncomfortable truths. Refusing to acknowledge problems and blaming those who expose concerns neither supports the profession or protects patients. I make no apology that CQC acts in the interest of people who use services.’

Readers' comments (52)

  • 1. some politician has an idea eg GPs should all wear clown suits.
    2. said politician sells the idea to other politicians and uses media chums to push the idea. targeted evidence (self-selected) is used to back up that idea eg children love clowns
    3. after political backing a quango is created and someone hired who fits the political ethos i.e. a GP who fervently believes that wearing clown suits is the way forward. He is put as the head of the quango and fully supported politically. Lets call this Quango - Clown Quality C omission.
    4. with such a 'passionate' leader the quango does it's job of 'persuading' i.e. forcing GPs to wear clown suits. BMA, RCGP and GPs protest - then the full media, political leverage is applied including emotional blackmail is used eg 'we are doing it for the children'. All GP groups then fold 'cos 'we are doing it for the children'.
    5. front-line GPs get fed up and leave but they are maligned as greedy, incompetent, arrogant etc. some GPs do well out of the situation and fully back the CQC , the others leave , the GP representation is impotent as they are 'doing it for the children'.
    6. some time later evidence is produced that shows the initial idea was **** but by that time the leader is knighted, paid off, retired with a job well done and we move back to 1.

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  • I am not a GP. This denigration of generalism, from the top, is not just distressing to me but concerns me for the patient harm that it will cause.

    What a mad world is the theatre of politics. Vested interests rule. I could almost cry for our public.

    Dr Peter J Gordon
    Consultant NHS Psychiatrist for Older Adults

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  • So we have a nice Stan and Ollie duet with the difference that these substitutes do not evoke that positive emotion. On the contrary !
    I was just beginning to wonder whether Prof Field had not been put in the limelight so Jeremy could have a break.

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  • Gongs galore.
    We can see it's time for both of them to go. None of us really think that no regulation or inspection is viable but I'm not taking it from people like Field and Hunt who are so perfect in their world- see Field's practice ratings and CQC status and Hunt's expenses and behaviour with Tv mogul.

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  • There really is no winning with this rubbish is there. We're frustrated if our leaders don't make robust challenges, but when they do then they are held up as a martyr to a noble cause and we are further denigrated as a result. we are out manoeuvred at every turn.

    There needs to be active aggressive proactive action from the profession rather than reactive where we will always lose

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  • Is Hunt hinting that Field should not realyy be ashamed of being a GP as he is not really a GP anymore?

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  • Vinci Ho

    Ha ha ha
    Agent Hunt is still infected with the virus FOV220,000. Never expect Master Yoda would resign and as I said , we have a media war to fight as one of the three fronts of this overall battle.

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  • "Dr" Fields is now politician as confirmed by Mr Hunt. His GP skills are long gone ( if they ever existed ). Time to stand up to those bullies. This is war.

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  • Vinci Ho

    Our force has awakened !

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  • Bob Hodges

    Its like an episode of the Chuckle Brothers.

    Without the laughs, and with less competence at preforming simple tasks.

    To me! To you!!

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