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At the heart of general practice since 1960

Dr Richard Vautrey: 'Simplistic summary scores will not help inform patients'

Read the full GPC reaction to the announcement that a chief inspector of primary care is to be appointed.

We need to wait and see what Jeremy Hunt actually says but I understand the chief inspector of primary care will work within CQC and practices were already expecting CQC inspections. It is essential that they will take a reasonable, pragmatic and proportionate approach to general practice inspections and regulation, understanding that we are not working in a sterilised operating theatre but a consultation room that mother’s regularly wheel prams in to. In addition any attempt to introduce simplistic summary scores for general practice will not help inform patients about the quality of care we offer. We provide a complex service and this cannot be boiled down in to a simplistic and superficial judgement.

The Government have only just completed the biggest re-organisation of the NHS and they now need to give CCGs and GPs the time to make the new system work. As commissioners of not just OOH and emergency care but community nursing and social care they have an opportunity to bring services together in a far more integrated way to improve the care patients receive and to try and reduce the need for elderly and vulnerable patients being admitted to hospital.  However this means moving resources from hospitals in to the community to support an expansion of community based services.

It is good that the Secretary of State now agrees that GPs are overwhelmed with workload and oppressed by tick-box medicine. It is a shame he did not believe this a few months ago when he imposed the latest unacceptable contract changes on practices which significantly ramped up this tick-box culture. I hope he now will work with us to undo this mistake and give GPs the space and time to focus on patients in holistic and professional way.

Dr Richard Vautrey is GPC deputy chair

Readers' comments (2)

  • Vinci Ho

    (1) I agree that we run a complex service and cannot be judged by simplistic summary score BUT it is exactly this complexity which is being targeted by this government now. The 'simplification ' of the benefit system was a very good example . ( you might disagree but thanks to IDS anyway !)
    (3) To judge the virtue of a person , particularly one with power and authority to rule, look at the track record of what he/she had done in the Past, examine what he/she is doing right Now and more importantly , when and where will he/she be satisfied and stop intervening at endpoints in the Future....(quotes from Conficius )
    (4) Be careful of what you hope (really wish) from politicians who care more about the health of their political party than that of people . ( which reminds me what Mike Farrar said again....) .

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  • I get the point about reducing an entire practice to a few measurable parameters. The trouble is that unless you do this, you run the risk of being deemed judgmental.

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