This site is intended for health professionals only

Letter of the week: CQC box-ticking puts my patients at risk

Congratulations to Copperfield for his column highlighting the damage done by the CQC (‘One more policy and I’ll scream,’). We too have had to take clinicians away from the task for which they trained (looking after patients) and set them to work in the back office to produce mountains of documents that are at best worthless.

Nobody is immune to the epidemic of insanity that currently threatens to engulf the NHS but, in a grossly underfunded practice, we fare worse than most. The additional resources required for the preparatory work for the CQC visit cannot be generated by a reduction in the ‘profit’ – because there isn’t one.

Here we have to cut to the bone and beyond, given that the costs of all such misguided activity has to be diverted from the already dangerously inadequate budget we’ve been given for looking after our patients. This time-wasting exercise poses a greater threat to my patients than MRSA, C. diff and meningitis B put together, with a seasonal flu epidemic thrown in for good measure.

For the past 30-odd years that I’ve worked in general practice, I’ve provided affordable medicine. The CQC will do away with all that at a stroke.
Whoever is running the NHS now really has to look carefully at what is happening in a health service in which patient care is at the bottom of the agenda. General practice, the jewel in the crown, is under attack as never before. The combination of measures now unfolding contains all the ingredients for the perfect storm – droves of first-rate, experienced GPs are looking to grab the first opportunity to retire, find alternative employment or emigrate.

As ever, those in charge won’t realise the consequences of their actions until it is too late. When an updated account of general practice is written in years to come, all those who have been responsible for the chaos in which we now attempt to work will be named and shamed.

But it is the CQC that will be given the ultimate accolade – it’s the most damaging initiative to have hit general practice in the history of the NHS.

From Dr John Cormack, South Woodham Ferrers, Essex