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Sod off CQC – you clipboard-wielding Nazis

Look, I had genuinely resolved not to say ‘CQC’ and ‘clipboard-wielding Nazis’ ever again in the same sentence. After all, the CQC has taken such a pasting for so long: yes, it does exemplify the sort of heavy handed micromanagement that any self respecting professional should gob on, but, let’s be honest, all those Pavlovian criticisms were starting to feel a bit stale and lazy.

So I’d been thinking, let’s cut them some slack and give them the benefit of the doubt, at least until our first inspection. And that’s what I’d decided to do. Until today. But now I’m feeling all phlegmy again.

What’s happened is, we’ve received a letter from the CQC in response to the one we were obliged to send about a change to our practice – specifically, the retirement of our senior partner. At least, that’s what we thought had happened, But apparently not. I quote: ‘Thank you for your application to remove a partner from the partnership…It will now be passed to our regional teams who will make a decision about your application. You must not apply the changes requested in the application form until we have confirmed we have approved it.’

Oh dear. You see, he’s busy enjoying life on the golf course, and his old patients are in the ‘acceptance’ part of their grieving process. In short, he’s already retired. It would be a shame to have to drag him back to work and make his old faithfuls feel like they’re consulting a ghost. Maybe I’ve been suffering a delusion all these years, but I was under the impression I was a self-employed professional working in a partnership, and that retirement decisions were therefore a matter for the individual and the partners.

So, sod off CQC – you clipboard-wielding Nazis.

Dr Tony Copperfield is a GP in Essex. You can email him at and follow him on Twitter @DocCopperfield.