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GP leaders brand chief inspector’s comments ‘baffling and offensive’

RCGP chair Dr Maureen Baker has hit back at claims that GPs have ‘failed as a profession’, calling the comments ‘baffling and offensive’.

She was not the only GP leader to react to an interview Professor Steve Field gave to the Daily Mail at the weekend, with the BMA issuing a statement arguing that it was the ‘ineffective’ CQC that needed to be reviewed.

The CQC’s chief inspector of general practice told the Mail that he was ‘ashamed’ at the poor care being provided by some of his GP colleagues, with some surgeries ’so bad we go to court the following day to close it down’.

Dr Baker said she was ‘in awe’ of how well practices were coping ’in the current climate.

She said via Twitter: ’Comments by Prof Steve Field baffling and offensive. I am in awe of how well most practices care for patients in current climate.’

She later added: ’Steve Field’s job is to find poor practices and deal with them. If doesn’t happen he should be ashamed of CQC not the profession.’

Meanwhile, the BMA pointed out that the CQC has a track record of inaccurately judging GP practices, bringing up the flawed risk-rating systems published by the regulator last year.

Its statement said: ’[T]he CQC inspection regime has been widely discredited as being unreliable, disproportionate, ineffective and drowning GP practices in pointless paperwork when they should be treating patients.

’The vast majority of GP practices provide a good or outstanding service to their patients despite being under unprecedented pressure from rising patient demand, falling resources and staff shortages.’

GPC member and Birmingham LMC medical secretary Dr Robert Morley also took to Twitter to express his concern at the comments.

He wrote: ’Even by CQC’s own appalling processes only 1/25 inspected practices in special measures yet chief inspector says general practice has failed!!’

GP Survival media lead Dr Zoe Norris tweeted: ’Look @CareQualityComm – this interview and the headlines? Really REALLY bad. As in, people need to resign bad. B-A-D.’

Meanwhile, the CQC has confirmed to Pulse that Professor Field was quoted accurately and it had not made any complaint about the Mail’s report of the interview. One CQC press officer tweeted the interview was ‘excellent’.