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GPs go forth

The CQC has the right idea, wrong time

Editor’s blog

Have you noticed how many patient safety issues there have been in the past two months? There is only one possible explanation – it is because we haven’t had the CQC policing the system.

Luckily, they announced last week that they were going to be having telephone chats with practices, starting with those they have the greatest concerns about. Phew.

The CQC’s chief inspector of primary medical services Dr Rosie Benneyworth said the ‘regular conversations’ would enable the CQC ‘to continue delivering our purpose during this period’ and ‘support the sector where it’s needed’. She added: ‘The idea is for these conversations to be open and honest about the challenges you are facing and will enable us to support you to address these.’ These will not be inspections, the CQC emphasises.

This will cause undue stress for an NHS that does not need undue stress

In the real world, of course, having the CQC checking in is not the top of anyone’s wish list right now. There are other things happening, and these CQC chats will cause undue stress for an NHS that does not need undue stress.

But, in post-Covid times,it would be a real step forward if we replaced inspections and ratings with a body that, as the CQC puts it, allows GPs to ’be open and honest about the challenges you are facing’ and is there to ‘support you’. It goes without saying that this cannot be the CQC, with its history.

Such an approach would do far more for is patient safety than inspections. But I wouldn’t hold your breath – or reinstall those fluffy toys - just yet.

Jaimie Kaffash is editor of Pulse. Follow him on Twitter @jkaffash or email him at

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Readers' comments (14)

  • Again spot on observations......I couldn't help but notice if you rearrange Rosies name you get 'Britons weeny hero'.....

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  • The beatings will continue until morale improves!

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  • CQC has no place in post covid health and social care, it was good at 1/ closing down practices and 2/ getting practices to spend oodles of time writing out common-sense policies and procedures, both severely reducing capacity. Country can no longer afford the cost of running the cqc which ultimately comes out of public purse-- CQC has not properly appraised itself and if it had --there would be no evidence of improved health care to demonstrate but the converse.
    CQC please do the decent thing and say to the Government that this experiment has failed and a more supportive organisation to level up poorly performing providers needs to be brought into existence

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  • I support ManU.

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  • Where was the CQC "Support" when NHSE delivered all of that out of date PPE???

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  • Open and honest? With CQflippinC?
    That would require us to trust them!

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  • 'open and honest', 'will enable us to help you address these (challenges)'
    Benneyworth either doesn't understand irony or is some sort of comedy genius.
    Flailing around for a raison d'etre CQC?. Why don't you try a spot of proper work?

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  • Let common sense prevail

    Is it me or did the CQC flee to the hills at the first sniff of Covid, and now comes skulking back to criticise how we managed whilst they were away? Is the CQC the world's largest chocolate teapot?

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  • Dr Boris

    ManU and others are completely correct. The CQC managed to weed out some failing practices but went missing when it mattered. To now offer their 'support' is a complete and utter joke.
    They either need to be replaced or completely change their modus operandi and exist to support all of us.

    Re the out of date PPE- Who made that decision to commission and stick on the BS expiry date? If they had said 'look, we've messed up- the PPE is out of date but we've tested it, here's the results and it's ok' then fine- we could have lived with that. But to willingly conceal out of date PPE is Banana Republic healthcare. It's an embarrassment.

    To have a meeting and decide to stick on completely false expiry dates is a crime and we should demand who made that decision and they should be held to account.

    There's a pattern emerging with how this whole thing is being handled and its disgusting. Spin,Lies, Attack,Propaganda Blame others, BS, Boasting, Trump lite BS.

    We deserve better than this.

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  • Vinci Ho

    As I wrote yesterday, one philosophical revelation from Covid 19 is : the older , the bigger and bureaucratic an institution/establishment is , the harder it is being hit . Bigotry stricken behemoth was well punished . All the issues associated with trust and credibility were well exposed . The ‘old model’ , namely One Size Fits All ,has evidently failed at all levels appallingly during Covid 19 and I reiterate my view that there is no need to compare with other countries.
    Yes , one could appreciate establishments like NHS England ,GMC , CQC, RCGP etc to ‘reach out’ to ‘right the wrong’ ( only if these institutions would admit their mistakes with humility) .
    As I wrote yesterday , leniency should be deliberate in such a historic , social-norm-changing moment . One has to very conscious that damages were well done prior to Covid 19 as far as relationship with frontline colleagues are concerned. Looking forward , it is a question of whether these institutions are humbled enough to repair the broken bridge OR hard habit is difficult to rid ?
    Trust and credibility only will happen as result of conscious effort serving humility ,transparency and honesty . So , Rosie , it is on the contrary to what she said : it is about GMC being open and honest , not from us.

    I quoted this again albeit many would be bored of my long winded comments :
    "Tacitus Trap" warns any leaders in power that when a government loses credibility, whether it tells the truth or a lie, to do good or bad, will be considered a lie, or to do bad.
    And of course , Confucius said something similar as well

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