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Eight out of ten GPs want CQC inspections to stop

Eight in ten GPs want CQC inspections to stop until general practice is ‘adequately funded’ and an ‘evidence-based’ system can replace the current regime, a survey has found.

The survey, carried out by GP Survival member Dr Nigel Price, a GP in Wessex, has drawn 700 responses via an online form and email.

Prompted by the announced ‘seven-fold’ hike in CQC fees to practices, the survey showed that:

  • 80% of colleagues want CQC inspections to be abandoned until general practice is adequately funded and the current regime can be replaced with a an evidence-based system that would be free of charge;
  • 2% would be willing to continue with inspections if fees only went up in line with inflation;
  • 17% would be willing to continue with inspections if the Government fronted the CQC fee;
  • No one is happy with the increased CQC fees.

The CQC proposed in November to increase the fees for GP inspection by more than 550% within two years, translating to an increase of £15,000 for some practices.

GP Survival media lead Dr Zoe Norris said: ‘This survey of frontline GPs confirms the deep concern about the CQC inspection process. It takes GPs away from seeing the patients that need them, causes a ludicrous amount of administrative work, and lacks any evidence that it directly benefits patients or helps practices who are struggling.

’Instead of effectively being fined for the badly thought out implementation of this regime, GPs need it removed immediately and to be genuinely listened to on a practical and properly funded alternative.’

Question: Regarding CQC inspections in England which of the following actions would you support?

I am happy with current proposals for rising costs of inspection and am willing to pay the increased charges to be inspected annually – 0 (0%)

I would be willing ot continue with CQC inspections and paying fees in line with the current fee structure with no more than a Retail Price Index annual adjustment – 13 (1.86%)

Inspections should be a Government expense and I would be willing to continue with inspections as long as they are free of charge for GPs – 122 (17.43%)

CQC inspections should be abandoned forthwith and any future replacement system to be introduced free of charge to practices and only when adequate funding of primary care is achieved. Such process to be evidence-based and to involve practicing GPs in its formulation – 557 (79.57%)

Other (open-ended response) – 8 (1.14%)

Source: A survey of 700 GPs by GP Survival and Resilient GP