|GPC Chair, Chaand Nagpaul|
Attendees of the conference backed an alternative quality assurance scheme, which would be peer-led and based on criteria that would improve patient care and safety. In a speech to the conference, GPC chair Chaand Nagpaul said the CQC itself needed to be put into ‘special measures’. While, in an address to the meeting, Royal College of GPs chair Maureen Baker also called for the suspension of CQC inspections saying they were not fit for purpose. GPs at the special conference also demanded all fees paid to the regulation by GPs be fully reimbursed, and opposed proposed sevenfold hikes in CQC fees.
In response the CQC said: ‘We make no apology for acting in the best interests of patients, who tell us they want to know care services are safe, effective and responsive.
‘Not only do patients value our inspections, but GPs themselves have told us inspection has helped drive improvement (nearly two-thirds of those surveyed). We’ve also found over three-quarters (76%) of GP practices and out-of-hours services agreed their inspection provided a thorough review of whether they were safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led. ‘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.
Catherine Murphy from the Patients Association said: "We know from calls to our helpline that patients feel it is important that inspections of GP practices bring to light what’s wrong so that we are all aware of it and so that practices can improve. It is important that the work CQC has been doing in this area continues so that patients are safe."