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Why the CQC's apology makes matters worse

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How quickly we go from joy to despair. Or, more specifically, from despair to joy to even deeper despair.

Last Friday lunchtime: on a visit, one of the partners catches the end of some radio news which seems to suggest that the CQC has admitted mistakes were made in its Intelligent (“Intelligent”) Monitoring, and has apologised to GPs. He tells us the good news and we go from wanting to punch every CQC employee in the face to punching the air in delight.

Last Friday evening: we check out the detail of the story to find that this isn’t a wholesale retraction at all, it’s a tweak removing a few indicators. This, the CQC says, will lead to a ‘big apology’ to the few practices it make a difference to, whereas, obviously, the rest of us unfairly labelled as crap by the media can go on being labelled as crap by the media.

If anything, this ‘apology’ makes matters worse. Piously admitting that some of these poxy/proxy markers of ‘quality’ aren’t actually fair sends out the message that the rest are, and completely misses the point. It’s not the detail, it’s the whole sodding concept that’s wrong.

Or, if you’d rather: CQC, what part of YOU SHOULD NEVER HAVE PUBLISHED THIS CRUD IN THE FIRST PLACE do you not understand?

And if you were going to bear the media brunt for admitting you’d made a mistake, why not admit that it wasn’t a teensy weensy one, but that you’d actually dropped a Buster Gonad-sized bo**ock?

So the all-pervading gloom in our practice has intensified.

And no wonder. The CQC has given local and national press the ammunition to shoot down practice reputations built up through years of blood sweat and tears.

Worse than that, it gave itself the opportunity to show sense and mercy, then simply didn’t bother.

It’s now getting a media kicking of its own. That’s ironic, and I hope it’s also long and hard. I’m not normally one to be vindictive, but on this occasion I’ll make an exception.

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

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Readers' comments (12)

  • Vinci Ho

    There is a Chinese saying about fate:
    Good is rewarded with good and evil will be requited with evil. If not , it's only because of not due yet.
    Time will tell and history will judge.....

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  • According to the published data, my practice is putting patients at risk due to high prescribing of quinolones. That would be one pt on instruction from the local urology consultant then....
    I would like to invite someone from the CQC twerp-ocracy (Prof Field perhaps?) to come along to our next patient participation group meeting to explain to pts
    a) What quinolones are (always assuming he knows)
    b) How the practice is putting pts at risk by following the explicit recommendation of the local hosp consultant

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  • More CQC biased tosh directly taken from their website.

    "Share your experience

    If you have experienced poor care, or know that poor care is being provided somewhere you can report it to us, anonymously if you wish. You can also tell us when you feel you have received good care."

    GPs need to fight this onslaught on their integrity and reputations.

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  • Drachula

    Wow! CQC really looking for mud with that last entry.
    Is there anywhere in the world that is any better, though?

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  • 5.46pm
    To be fair some practices have v high usage of quinolones which are one of the causes of c diff infections
    However agree generally that cqc is more dysfunctional than the providers it is meant to inspect

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  • It's the old adage that you can measure things that don't matter and the things that really matter can't be measured...

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  • Time to call it a day!

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  • To Alice, no where in the world is better. Not me, the Commonwealth Fund report earlier this year.
    We scored No1 in almost everything, except timely appointments - that is just due to increasing consult rates per average list size. To give timely appointments, we need to move an appointment based payment system.

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  • John Glasspool

    Er, if quinolones are sooo bad, why aren't they banned? I assume because they can be damned useful at times. I used them, but virtually never first-line unless I knew it was policy, or one had a culture result that showed this was the only type of drug one could use.

    I still await the GMC's reply to my letter of complaint about Prof Field.

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  • I have seen very few cases of C Diff - none of which has been associated with quinolones, PPIs or any antibiotic for that matter. Just how great is this link?

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From: Copperfield

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