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GPC calls for Professor Steve Field’s resignation ‘forthwith’



The GPC has called for the resignation of the chief inspector of primary care, Professor Steve Field, at its meeting in London today. 

The motion says that the GPC ’has no confidence in the CQC’s current chief inspector of general practice’, and ‘demands his resignation forthwith’, after he claimed that he was ’ashamed of GPs’.

It came right after the RCGP said Professor Field – a former RCGP chair – has ‘lost the confidence’ of GPs, and called for an apology.

Earlier in the week, Professor Field made a tirade of comments in the national media, claiming that he is ’ashamed’ to be a GP at times because of the care being offered by some practices.

He told the Daily Mail: ‘Sometimes we go into a surgery and it’s so bad we go to court the following day to close it down. As a practising GP, I’m quite ashamed that some of my colleagues are providing such poor care.’

Today, the GPC took the step of calling for his resignation. The motion – voted on by GPC members today – says: ’The GPC has no confidence in the CQC’s current Chief Inspector of General Practice and demands his resignation forthwith’.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, GPC chair, said: ’This motion demonstrates the dismay and anger felt by dedicated hardworking GPs across England following the recent unjustified comments made by the chief inspector of general practice at the CQC. 

’When the vast majority of practices are managing to maintain high quality care against all odds in the face of falling resources, staff shortages and rising patient demand, the chief inspector should be vocally supporting GP services and not undermining them.’ 

He added: ’It is clear that the CQC inspection regime is not fit for purpose. The current process is disproportionate, expensive and bureaucratic, and takes GPs and their staff away from spending time looking after their patients. It includes endless amounts of pointless paperwork, such as box ticking exercises aimed at scrutinising the details of internal practice meetings.

’The CQC has already had to perform a U-turn this year over its widely discredited risk banding programme which formed judgements before inspectors had even arrived at a practice.’

Dr Baker earlier said: ‘GPs are supportive in general of regulation, however the way Steve has gone about making misleading, unfounded and denigrating comments about the level of care that hard-working GPs provide to their patients is rapidly undermining the concept of regulation.’

She went on to add that as a result of Professor Field’s ‘sensationalist and non-evidenced claims’ about the how bad the level of patient care is, he has ‘clearly lost the confidence of the profession.’

‘He repeatedly makes sensationalist and non-evidenced claims about how bad the level of patient care is – which must inevitably scare patients,’ Dr Baker said.

‘As the chief inspector of general practice, Steve needs to be seen as being fair and impartial, but given the scaremongering comments he has made this is no longer the case. To be quite frank, he has now clearly lost the confidence of the profession.’