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This CQC gimmick is outstanding

This CQC gimmick is outstanding

The call for GP practices in England to declare themselves as ‘requires improvement’ to the CQC likely won’t achieve anything but it’s a great PR stunt, says Jaimie Kaffash

There are some important motions being discussed at the LMCs conference later this month, such as cutting routine hours to 9-5 and the various motions around the 2024 contract. The problem with these is that they simply won’t happen. Even if LMC leaders vote in favour of radical solutions, they will be dismissed in the very first negotiation with NHS England to the relief – I suspect – of the BMA GP Committee negotiators.

So it is of no surprise that the motion that captured the imagination of GPs most is the call for all practices in England to declare themselves ‘requires improvement’ because they can’t currently provide safe care. Like many of the other motions, I’m under no illusion that this will achieve anything. And, if I am honest, I don’t know the legalities around this, and whether the CQC will accept this.

But as a PR stunt, this ticks all the right boxes (which is an irony the CQC might appreciate). It is turning one of the most frustrating aspects of general practice in England – CQC inspections – into a weapon. It is something that can be done with relatively little hassle. And it is something that the media can’t turn against GPs.

Most of all, it is framing the problem as a systemic issue. It is saying that care being provided in primary care is unsafe, and that is nothing to do with the curtains being the wrong length, or the carpet being the wrong hue or whatever. Care is unsafe because what is being asked of GPs can’t be provided with the resources going into general practice. 

And who knows – if we are really lucky, the CQC might feel they won’t need to inspect practices. Having said that, those boxes don’t tick themselves.

Jaimie Kaffash is editor of Pulse. Follow him on Twitter @jkaffash or email him at



Please note, only GPs are permitted to add comments to articles

Patrufini Duffy 9 November, 2022 3:32 pm

Like I said, just say inadequate. And in six months, after playing golf General Practice will be over. Imagine that. Smart.

paul cundy 10 November, 2022 7:03 am

Dear All,
Well if Mr Hunt needs to find a couple of hundred million £ to save………..
I doubt many would be weeping if this farrago were cut to the bone.
Paul C

David Church 10 November, 2022 11:13 am

Having just submitted my Revalidation Feedback Survey, I am wondering what MARS (‘the system’) would do if any of my patients, colleagues, or even myself, have ticked the ‘No’ box to the question “Should this person be a Doctor?”

Christopher Ho 10 November, 2022 11:28 am

I refuse to play these mind games when the fundamental solution is de-politicising healthcare