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GPs vote to look at how to ‘lawfully withdraw’ from CQC regulation

LMCs have called on the GPC to look at how practices might refuse to comply with CQC inspections, but without putting GPs at risk of legal action.

At today’s Special LMC Conference, GPs voted overwhelmingly in support of the call to ‘explore all options by which GP practices could lawfully withdraw from engaging with the CQC’.

They also called on the GPC to abolish CQC regulation and instead look at an alternative model of self-regulation based on peer review.

Proposing the motion, Dr Jackie Applebee from City and East London LMC, said GPs ‘were not against regulation’ and that ‘advice from respected colleagues who also work at the coalface and also understand the pressures is always welcome’.

But she added that the ‘broad-brush, insensitive, heavy-handed approach of CQC inspections provokes anxiety in a profession already stretched to breaking point’.

Dr Applebee said that completely boycotting the CQC ‘would be perfect’ as ‘even the Daily Mail would find it hard to disagree if we argued we were refusing to co-operate with inspections as this freed us up to spend more time with patients’.

However, as ‘apparently this would not be lawful’, she added that GPs should ‘take inspiration from the junior doctors and student nurses’ and ‘enlist patients and take to the streets’.

Motion in full

That conference believes that over regulation and monitoring of the profession has eroded morale and had an adverse effect on the sustainability of general practices, and:

i) opposes any increase in the fees demanded of practices by the CQC and demands that all fees be fully reimbursed

ii) demands that GPC actively campaigns to abolish the regulation of general practice by the CQC

iii) demands that GPC produces realistic proposals for an effective peer led quality assurance scheme for general practice based on criteria that improve patient care and safety

iv) calls on GPC to explore all options by which GP practices could lawfully withdraw from engaging with the CQC