Christmas has arrived early for GPs

Taken from Pulse, 28th August 2013

Professor Steve Field appointed chief inspector of general practice

The CQC has announced that former RCGP chair Professor Steve Field is to take up the new post of chief inspector of general practice, with responsibility for the inspection and regulation of GPs.

In a statement the CQC said that Professor Field would be responsible for champion the interests of patients, making judgments about the quality of care provided and ensuring that health and adult social care services join up seamlessly.

He will also be responsible for introducing a ratings system for registered primary care providers.

The appointment comes after figures obtained by Pulse showed that more than a fifth of the GP practices inspected so far by the CQC have been found to be non-compliant with essential standards.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt announced plans for a chief inspector to look at the quality of care in general practice earlier this year.

Once appointed they will launch a consultation on how primary care providers should be inspected and regulated, and oversee the implementation of a tough new inspection regime.

Professor Field is the former chair of the NHS Future Forum - set up by the Government to review the Health and Social Care Act - and is currently the NHS Commissioning Board’s deputy medical director.

Will the chief inspector of general practice be an Ofsted-style ogre?

Professor Field said: ‘I am thrilled at being appointed the first chief inspector of general practice in England. I see this as a wonderful opportunity to highlight what’s good in general practice and dentistry, and to shine a light on what isn’t. It’s an opportunity to make sure that all organisations are encouraged to live up to the standards of the best.

‘I have had a long-standing commitment to address health inequalities and this role will enable me to ensure that primary medical services put this increasingly important issue high on their agendas. It will also allow me to focus on making sure that people receive health and care services that are integrated.’

Professor Clare Gerada, RCGP chair, said she was ‘delighted’ that Professor Steve Field has been appointed to this role.

She added: ‘As a GP and immediate past Chair of the RCGP, he has a long history of service to general practice and to his patients. It is really encouraging that the role will be carried out by someone who understands GPs and the challenges we face in delivering the best possible patient care with diminishing budgets and resources.

‘We know that Steve will champion general practice and the efforts of hardworking GPs in his new role and bring sense to the array of inspection regimes that GPs are already subjected to.’

3 Replies

  • Here's a couple of comments taken from Pulse:

    'Heaven help us'

    "We know that Steve will champion general practice and the efforts of hardworking GPs in his new role and bring sense to the array of inspection regimes that GPs are already subjected to."

    'Or then again, he may look after his own interests and push through government diktat whilst representing himself as a fellow GP.'

  • We just need his email and postal address now to educate him about how GPs diagnose and treat their thyroid patients so he can represent our interests.

  • How can we be sure that he'll be honest and transparent as well as championing the patients? He's previously served as Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners (assuming that is what RCGP stands for) as well as Deputy Medical Director of the NHS Commissioning Board.

    Another blinkered one who will follow the party line. You can guarantee that it'll make naff all difference to patients.

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