This site is intended for health professionals only

At the heart of general practice since 1960

Chief GP inspector set to leave CQC in March 2019

The CQC’s chief inspector of general practice is set to leave his position in March 2019 after five and a half years in the role.

According to the CQC, Professor Steve Field extended his term at the regulator by six months, having originally been expected to leave in October this year. 

Professor Field, who took on the role in October 2013, leads on the inspection of all providers of primary care services, including out-of-hours, online providers and prison health care.

However, since August 2017, he has also assisted in reviewing local systems, looking at hospitals, community services, ambulance services, care homes and residential care services, as well as GP practices.

CQC chief executive Ian Trenholm said: ‘I am extremely grateful to Steve for extending his term of office by six months until March 2019, and supporting me as I joined this important organisation – this has allowed us to progress much of the local system review work and speaks to Steve’s dedication to making sure people get the high-quality, compassionate care that they deserve.

Professor Field told Pulse earlier this year that ‘the amount of work we have been doing on local system reviews’, led him to give up his position as a practising GP at Bellevue Medical Centre in Birmingham.

He said at the time: ‘I have been focusing on making sure we get this important new approach right, where we take a wider view of the patient experience across a local health and care system.’

However, the CQC has faced accusations of bias in its practice inspections during his tenure after a Pulse analysis revealed that at least 60% of partners in ‘inadequate’ practices are BME

Meanwhile, Professor Field admitted at a conference late last year, that the CQC is ‘not as consistent’ as it should be with some practices inspected with more leniency than others.

The news comes after CQC board papers revealed that it has sought legal advice in a bid to expand its inspection remit to include a number of online GP providers, which are currently slipping through the net.

Readers' comments (29)

  • Good riddance.
    It makes me embarrassed to be a GP with the likes of him in the profession :)
    Hope you get your gong Stevie.....

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • The CQC have been colluding with the government to cover up the effects of its austerity policies on the NHS. Last nights Panorama shows the extent of this with children having to be actively suicidal before CAMHS will help them. We know that good CQC ratings are far more dependent on wealth and demographics than how hard staff work. We also know that the NHS suffers from a depressing tide of scandals despite onerous inspection regimens. There is a secretive group within the regulatory system who are not what they seem and in reality defend the interests of big business putting profit before patients. It's shameful but literally no-one can hold them to account. https://www.gponline.com/six-key-figures-question-fairness-cqc-ratings-gps/article/1452942

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Nhsfatcat

    Going going gong.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • The damage done to grass roots GPs by the likes of CQC etc. has been incalculable. Is it any wonder that general practice is so unattractive.
    I presume that he will go with not just a gong but a golden goodbye of some sort albeit in a hidden format while the rest of us struggle on!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • our experience was that they focused on process and paper work and paid minimal attention to quality of care access etc. They totally measured the wrong metrics so the whole process of CQC inspection was expensive, exhausting and ultimately a waste of time. Our practice managers are our achilles heel in general practice. they are overwhelmed by the demands on them and CQC should hang their heads in shame.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I welcome the fact that he is staying on another 6 months.

    He should be praised for his support for failing practices; lauded for emphasising to the press that general practice is the best-performing sector monitored by the CQC and congratulated for presiding over such a light-touch, low-bureaucracy and effective regulatory regime...Nurse!I'm ready for my medication now.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I pity the poor buggers he presides over next.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I am devastated that he is going.I want to know who his yoga teacher is. Try as I might I have been unable to put my head up my own arse.His auto-colonoscopy skills have been an inspiration to me.Ommmmm.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Good riddance. Unfortunately an even worse specimen is likely to replace this one.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • ‘Outstanding’ in his own...
    OBN in the post

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

View results 10 results per page20 results per page50 results per page

Have your say