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Scare Quality Commission?

From Dr Bernard Newgrosh, Bolton

We had our CQC inspection on 5 December. The first session lasted from 9am to 5pm on a Monday. The team leader returned on the Wednesday afternoon for another few hours of questions. And then, more than four weeks later, we received a long phone call with yet more queries.

The time taken between inspection and publication is supposed to be between six and eight weeks. But we didn’t get our report until 11 weeks later. Publication took even longer: the best part of four months. You’d think an organisation with the words ‘care’ and ‘quality’ in its title would be better at meeting its targets.

There was also a noticeable lack of care and quality in the commission of our report. The inspectors mistook our practice for another. We realised this after counting 28 factual errors, 18 misleading statements and several major omissions in the report. It took a 30-page response from us to demonstrate why these were their errors and to show how this was damaging to our practice.

Sometimes, we have problems communicating with patients from overseas. These pale into insignificance alongside our difficulties with the inspectors’ jargon. When they were asked to translate it into plain speech, they were lost for words.

They looked at the 40 chairs in a waiting room that serves two small practices and called it ‘limited seating’. They were told that our newest receptionist had not yet had CPR training as she’d only been in the post for six weeks, and termed that ‘a failing’. She lacks a reference, having been out of work for a decade: that was cited as a breach of schedule three of theHealth and Social Care Act (2008/2014). But there is no such requirement in the Act.

Scare quality? That’s how our patients see it. They are appalled. They object to what is written in the local newspaper, which has managed to select the misleading statements that the CQC deigned not worthy of correction.

It is nice to be so appreciated by our patients, by people who can actually detect care and quality.