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BMA calls for reform of CQC

29 January 2016

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Precious practice money is being wasted on employing staff to cover practice work as GP surgery staff prepare for inspections, Chaand Nagpaul, the British Medical Association General Practice Committee chair said.

This comes after the BMA surveyed more than 1,900 English GP practices and found that inspections increased both clinical and non-clinical staffs stress levels, and had a significant cost for the practice.

The potential cost for practices included hiring external management, getting GP locum cover, the cost of nursing team backfill, and the cost of staff overtime, the poll found.

Practice managers and GPs also felt there is/was excessive extra preparation or workload involved in inspections.

Nagpaul said: “GPs are being forced to divert valuable time away from treating patients towards the endless box ticking, paperwork and bureaucracy that is the hallmark of this programme.”

In response, a spokesperson for the Care Quality Commission (CQC) replied: “We’ve worked hard to ensure that the inspection of GP surgeries does not impact adversely on the practice being able to provide patient care by working with practice staff to design the agenda for that day. The feedback we’ve received indicates that surgeries already performing well do not find the preparation for inspection arduous, as the BMA suggests.”

The survey also found that three out of four GPs said the inspection system makes them more likely to want to leave general practice, while a quarter say they are less inclined to raise concerns about practice pressures for fear of CQC intervention.

In 2015 the local medical committees conference and BMA annual representative meeting voted to end the current CQC (care quality commission) inspection process on the basis that it was ‘unfit for purpose’. The BMA is now calling for reform of the CQC.