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CQC is ‘not fit for purpose’, LMCs say

The CQC is ‘not fit for purpose’ and a chief inspector of primary care is ‘unnecessary and should not be appointed’, delegates at the LMC conference in London said.

The GPs agreed with a motion saying they had ‘no confidence in the ability of the CQC to regulate health services’ and that the regulator should be held to account and public scrutiny following the Francis report.

Dr Ivan Camphor, medical secretary of mid Mersey LMC, called the CQC a ‘national disgrace’ with a ‘fudged and ill-thought through mandate’.

He said: ‘There is a national crisis in confidence in the CQC’s ability, governance and performance. They allegedly gave a 5* review to a trust after interviewing two patients and looking at two pathways. If we take this as a reference we are just a talking shop. There were 1,200 deaths in mid-Staffs and the CQC approved them. Let’s send a strong message to the Government.’

Devon LMC’s Dr Anthony O’Brien said GPs should not have to pay CQC fees: ‘I have no problem being inspected, I just don’t want to pay for it. They can come for free if they want.’

GPC private fees and regulation subcommittee chair Dr John Canning defended the CQC as they were introducing specific GP inspectors rather than general ones, in order to make themselves fit for purpose as an organisation.

He said: ‘The inspectors won’t be generalised, the CQC are looking to employ sectorised inspectors. It is trying to make itelf fit for purpose. We have access to them [the CQC], they are talking to us. Whilst they may not have been fit for purpose, they are trying to change.’

He added that a chief inspector of primary care might be ‘OK’ as it would be a point of contact in the organisation: ‘The chief inspector of primary care might be OK - they’ll be the person in the CQC in control of the primary care sector rather than a whole new regulator.’