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A faulty production line

The CQC has put my practice on the naughty step

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If we all accept the need for the CQC to exist, and obviously, we don’t, but just supposing we did, then I’d accept that they’d want some sort of way of deciding who they were going to prioritise in terms of their inspections. And I’d accept that whatever this instrument turned out to be, it’d be blunt, measuring only what can be measured etcetera, but hey ho.

Anyway, blunt it is. Because, gloriously, my practice appears to be on the naughty step.

Why? Because despite our repeated efforts, we just can’t bludgeon the local demographic into accepting the value of those oh-so-important smears and flu jabs. Oh, and because we declined to get involved in regular multidisciplinary palliative care meetings on the basis that we’d rather spend the time actually looking after these patients rather than talking about them, which we can do whenever we like, anyway, when necessary, rather than at some arbitrary point over a Hob Nob.

And a further ‘oh’: our nurses didn’t score so well on a survey. Which is odd, given that those exact same nurses work for another practice in the same building and scored fine, which I think tells you more about the survey than the nurses.

All of which I could live with, particularly as the CQC is displaying an unexpected sense of irony in calling it ‘intelligent monitoring’.

But what really does sap the last vestige of morale is that this nonsense is made public, with the effects of crushing hardworking GPs further and sending their patients into a panic or other nearby ‘better’ GP lists. Shame on you, CQC.

Dr Tony Copperfield is a GP in Essex. You can follow him on Twitter @DocCopperfield

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Readers' comments (17)

  • I only hope when the time comes the CQC are held legally responsible for the damage they are creating

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  • Well said. The scoring system lacks accuracy and context and defames decent hard working primary care teams ahead of inspections (which will now be conducted in a climate of suspicion awkwardness).
    I despair for general practice.
    Where is your compassion and caring Prof Fields?
    A disgrace ..Shame on you CQC indeed!

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  • Vinci Ho

    This is building up a recipe for JR- judicial reviews.....

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  • Una Coales. Retired NHS GP.

    All public bodies are under similar socialist kafkaesque scrutiny. My daughter's school had their 6-yearly inspection which involved emailing all the parents to answer a very extensive online questionnaire half of which questions I had no idea what the answer was so quit as I hate failing exams...

    One mother told me her daughter had a 'inspector' sit next to her and watch her eat lunch! She went up for seconds, another piece of gammon and was criticized for eating too much protein! Why not add carbs? Um, who is doing the bullying?

    Inspectors sat in lessons and interviewed everyone looking for something, anything, nothing. Not sure why all the scrutiny as the school is close to the top of the league for A levels and parents pay to send their girls there.

    As 2 of my close NHS GP friends have now joined the ranks of CQC inspectors (pays better than partnership) I hope they are kinder to GPs.

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  • Not sure what step I am on. My little blobette is white and has no number. Inadequate data FFS! Seems my refusal to do kiddie flus has bunged a spanner in the works.

    Oh and I have a red mark

    GPPS004: The proportion of respondents to the GP patient survey who stated that they always or almost always see or speak to the GP they prefer. (01/07/13 to 31/03/14)

    Odd that. I’m a singlehander.

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  • the CQC is a politically motivated anti-NHS organisation IMHO. what else could explain the savagery of the public exposure they have obtained for their initial musings ( over what might potentially be a failing practice).
    QOF is not a part of the GMS Contract, it is voluntary. It therefore falls on NHS England to pick up those criteria that GP Practices choose not to undertake. To criticise GPs for not performing on QOF is actually a criticism of NHS England, as contractually that is how the QOF is established.
    When will the CQC actually start to do something really difficult, like actually assess how competent a doctor each of us is. It doesnt want to do that, it prefers to assess the activities of whole practices and confuses and disinforms the public by mistreating the data is accesses from non-core add-on funding streams.

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  • Apparently my patients are at risk because they claim they can be overheard in reception - does the CQC expect us to provide private soundproof booths for our patients ?

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  • More fun to come. Try actually using
    the " intelligence". The Patient survey is
    certainly capricious. And the statistical
    method arcane.
    Hang onto those easily defendable marks
    of concern for an easier ride at inspection?

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  • Glad this isn't happening here in Scotland but looks like yet another attempt to destroy the profession whilst claiming to be raising standards. Suggest you all make unannounced visits to your MPs' surgeries & start handing out highly biased questionnaires to the punters.

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  • From my reading of the CQC tripe, they seem to put surgeries at 'high risk' if their disease incidences are higher????

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From: Copperfield

Dr Tony Copperfield is a jobbing GP in Essex with more than a few chips on his shoulder