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Professor Steve Field says GPs have ‘failed as a profession’

General practice has ‘failed as a profession’, CQC chief inspector of general practice Professor Steve Field has told the Daily Mail.

Professor Field said that he was ‘ashamed’ to be a GP at times because of the care being offered by some practices, in an interview with the paper this weekend.

He was speaking ahead of an appearance in front of the House of Commons Health Committee tomorrow as part of its inquiry into the state of primary care.

The comments to the Mail are in stark contrast to comments made by Professor Field’s deputy last month, who said that the main failings of practices were procedural, and not to do with patient care.

Professor Field pointed out that 29% of practices are found to be ‘not safe’.

In comments a CQC spokesperson told Pulse were accurately reported, Professor Field told the Mail: ‘I believe that we’ve failed as a profession.

‘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.

‘In some practices there is no care, they’re absent. The practices are being run by a series of locums, with no leadership. I was shocked at how uncaring and poor some of the practices have been.’

He was commenting on the CQC’s submission to the committee, which highlighted problems in individual practices.

It included problems such as checks on locums, making sure medicine is in-date and ensuring patients can see a doctor in an emergency.

The CQC concluded that the ‘majority of primary medical services are providing Good or Outstanding care’, but said there was a ‘concerning amount of poor quality care being provided to people, which puts their safety at risk’.

It comes after Ruth Rankine, who is responsible for GP inspections in the South of England, admitted that ‘very often’ GP practices rated inadequate scored highly in the ‘caring’ domain, with a lack of ‘basic systems and processes’ the base for concern.

This is not the first time the CQC has caused headlines in national papers about the failings of GP practices, although claims of ‘maggots in treatment rooms’ and flawed ‘risk-ratings’ were subsequently withdrawn by the regulator.