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GPs go forth

The CQC must turn words into action

Editor’s blog

The CQC has taken a lot of stick on these pages, and mostly for good reason. So it is only fair to give it credit this week.

It has (finally) admitted that problems in practices are not totally the fault of GPs. Its report states: ‘We have reported previously that some GP practices have not been able to improve or to sustain improvement because of issues with poor leadership and management, but ongoing capacity pressures on general practice as a whole may affect the ability to improve’.

This certainly makes a change from the previous regime, which seemed to delight in pointing out all the problems with GPs with little attempt to explain the mitigating factors.

The CQC has to look how to improve this situation. It can start at home

But words are not enough on their own. The CQC has to look how to improve this situation. It can start at home. Stop the judgmental ratings system, and work with practices to help them manage when they do have capacity issues. Then it can lobby ministers on GPs’ behalf – by doing so they will be fulfilling their remit of improving patient safety.

We can only hope that these words have some meaning behind them.

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

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Readers' comments (7)

  • As you say, it's the old story of the clinicians having been held to account for the faults of the system. It's well known that the well funded practices by and large get better ratings than the poorly funded ones.

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  • Vinci Ho

    (1) The sentiment of this CQC report could not stop people from relating to a drop( only a drop) of crocodile tears . Every matter has its origin and tail . Every incident has its beginning and ending . Only knowing what is the order and sequence of events , one can learn the ‘true way ‘ .
    Remember what CQC previous chief once said three year ago ?,
    ‘’Professor Steve Field told the Daily Mail that general practice has ‘failed as a profession’ and he was ‘ashamed’ to be a GP because of the poor care he saw in certain practice.’’
    Fast forward the clock to today , how do you feel , Professor? Should somebody be more ashamed of himself instead ?
    In politics , all you need is a bit of insouciance from the ‘key’ leader and disasters will follow . We have seen this too many times .
    (2) CQC was falling into the same slippery slope fallacy and mentality as GMC , that the stronger the regulation and oversight are in place , the health services , especially general practice, will be better . Yes , this is politically correct only when the ‘system’ is fundamentally sound and healthy . Austerity, Health and Social Care Bill , hapless/hopeless government(s) crippled by Brexit fiasco etc , are all background factors contributing to this ‘state’ of GP .
    The presumption that ‘the bigger the provider is , the better ; the cheaper , the better ‘ was never an healthy one but only overcompensating a system completely dried out of resources (money , manpower, expertise and time) .
    Together with the slippery slope fallacy mentioned above , we have a perfect storm.
    (3) Both CQC and GMC are fraught with a superhero complex that their first duty was to protect the public without realising their blind spots of actually killing the chickens before any egg could be laid . As a regulatory body , they have both duties of ensuring the care providers can potentially improve but more importantly, the government is doing all to ensure that these improvements can materialise . This is even more paramount simply because the providers are funded by government in a system called NHS . Blindly protecting the clause ‘ tax-payer money must be used properly’ had , so far , shifted regulator like CQC towards an unconscious (some may argue was conscious) bias . We saw this evidently in their attitude towards general practitioners in NHS , up to now .

    We are where we are in this reality ,l.CQC has a decision to make where it should position itself ,against a backdrop of a dysfunctional government? If its primary duty is still to ‘protect’ the public , their ‘regulation’ must start from the ‘top’ NOT from the bottom........

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  • The best thing that could happen for the nhs would be for the CQC goons to all be sacked. They’re useless self serving government bureaucrats. Carl Beech and Whorlton Hall should come back to haunt them amongst other cluster f*cks

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  • Yes Harry how many more Carl Beeches are still in the ranks of the CQC Stazi one can only wonder.

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  • Jaimie, how much more can you take and how much longer would you wait, before you decide that the CQC can't be reformed, and should be disbanded???

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  • Regulation is the very distant past. Trust is the recent past, the present and the future . Most people apart from anybody connected in anyway whatsoever to the CQC are aware of this.

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  • The CQC is aware of the problems but still tries to sink struggling surgeries making the system more dangerous instead of being safer shows the CQC is not needed as it is making things worse not better.

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