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At the heart of general practice since 1960

When the CQC stole Christmas. And our senior partner.

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We’re due our visit by the inspection team in just a few days. So, as you can imagine, we’re blitzing the practice to dispose of anything potentially incriminating – maggots, corpses, dart-pocked pictures of Steve Field etc.

It’s been a steep learning curve. For example, who’d have thought that hypodermic needles have a ‘use by’ date? What’s the worst that could happen, I ask my practice manager as she frantically tips them into a sharps bin, even if the ‘sell by’ is 1/10/74?

Anyway, the process has absolutely confirmed that the CQC sucks the joy out of a place and replaces it with despair. Until a few days ago, our admin offices were grottos of yuletide cheer, bedecked with twinkling Christmas lights. Now the lights have gone and all is doom and gloom. PAT testing, apparently. I literally have no idea what that is, but it’s made our fairy lights illegal.

Our senior partner doesn’t seem to care. She’s been so CQC-obsessed for the last few weeks that we fear she’s become one of them – like the man who feigned madness to escape Colditz, only to be found he was stuck with it. We want her back, but she just shoos us away and carries on sharpening her clipboard.

At least, as I point out to the reception staff, we still have our massive ‘Merry Christmas’ banner in the waiting room. But they, too, have been infected by CQC-fever and stand there looking at it, uncertainly. ‘What about diversity?’ they ask. ‘Will it offend non-Christmas celebrating ethnic minorities, thereby making us appear less responsive and caring to certain population groups? Or would removing the banner for fear of causing offence imply we hold a set of assumptions about certain ethnic groups which is, in itself, might be deemed offensive?’ Ok, they don’t actually say this, but I know that’s what they’re thinking.

To lighten the mood, I decide I’m going to do something subversive, along the lines of the poster we inadvertently pinned up earlier in the year which told patients to ‘F- off’ if they wanted antibiotics . I’m thinking of a ‘Merry f***ing Christmas CQC’ with the key word in flashing neon. Once I’ve had it tested for PATS, of course.

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

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Readers' comments (13)

  • We did get back to CQC. In our "Business Continuity plan" we included plans to include attack on the surgery by Zombies.
    In that we described Zombies as a clipboard wielding, brain dead people who just say "die, die" or "you will fail" all the time and literally suck your soul out

    Unfortunately the irony was lost on them!!!

    We did manage to pass it though.

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  • Vinci Ho

    As a fan of TV series Walking Dead , I understand how hard it was to kill a zombie(only died with a head shot or attack). The problem is when when you encounter more than one as the size of the crowd increases , you will die!
    Funny that we are to pay higher fee to have a bigger team of zombies visiting us.
    Merry f***ing Christmas zombies !!!!

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  • When I saw the poster referred to in the article (it's still there!) I nearly sh*t myself laughing as did most of my team here. As for the "Attack on the surgery by zombies" in the business continuity plan brilliant,just brilliant. Thanks guys:)

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  • go on do it , do it !!! [ or at least tell us you did to cheer us up ].
    I am waiting with bated breath for the post inspection debrief.

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  • I can imagine it must be uncomfortable for patients caught up in a CQC insppection - it's bad enough seeing the doctor without many strange faces wandering around looking severe (or dead).

    Might I suggest to Dr Copperfield that when the inspection team arrives they are provided with identification? An armband would be easily visible. It being the festive period they could be red, white, gold and black. If they baulk at the odd shape of the cross on it an alternative could be a couple of lightning flashes to signify the shock factor. Now where have I seen those before?...

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  • Beware the zombies who come bearing gifts of GP failures. We are a failed corner shop profession according to 2 Stevens.
    Exterminate. Exterminate the best Primary care service in the world. [ 2 Stevens do not read Commonwealth fund reports = that is for the common wealth ]. exterminate the most trusted profession in the UK. [ what do 2 Stevens care about the common man's opinion, the public do not know anything about corner shops ].
    2 Stevens know everything. Or they think they know everything.

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  • My Practice Manager said we need a whistle-blowing policy to keep CQC happy. So I put up a poster saying "Please don't blow whistles in the surgery". She laughed, then tore it down before it was spotted by those humourless inspectors.

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  • Our inspection is due soon.
    I have made a banner for CQC members :-
    "Dear CQC inspectors, unless you are STERILE, please don't touch & contaminate"
    I showed the banner to our PM :- just imagine -if a look could kill.,,

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  • Absolutely brilliant. Having suffered with CQC in the past but no more I wish you all the luck in the world! You'll need it!

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  • Our Business Continuity Plan includes sections on volcanoes, earthquakes, meteor strikes and nuclear war ("In the event of a nuclear explosion we will probably all die, therefore an in-depth contingency plan does not need to be in place. If we do not die, then work will be the last thing on our mind."

    Hadn't thought to include the zombie apocalpyse - I'll update next week!

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From: Copperfield

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