CQC inspection was 'pleasant experience', says GPC chairman

GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman has described being inspected by the CQC as a 'pleasant experience'.

Dr Laurence Buckman: CQC should maintain pilot inspection system
Dr Laurence Buckman: CQC should maintain pilot inspection system

Dr Buckman took part in a CQC pilot to test the inspection process the regulator will use once practices are registered.

Dr Buckman said that despite being given just 48 hours notice, the inspector’s visit to his practice ‘was a pleasant experience’.

Writing in a Bromley LMC newsletter, Dr Buckman described exactly what the inspector did.

‘She looked at all our policy papers (and said there were too many and a few were too generic); was interested in minor ops until I told her of our low infection rate and that we used only disposable instruments; asked a lot about safeguarding and consenting incompetent adults (I had never heard of "best interest" meetings for all parties to consider their interests); looked at our repeat prescribing processes and our fail-safe follow-up of cervical smears; and interviewed a number of patients in the waiting room,’ Dr Buckman wrote.

Dr Buckman said the inspection was nowhere near as bad as many GPs, and his practice manager, had feared.

‘For many months, doomsayers in the country have assumed that almost every practice would be closed down immediately if a single furry toy was found or if any pile of tongue spatulae contained an even number of sticks or something else equally bizarre or random. Not at all.'

Dr Buckman told GP that he would feed back his experiences of the inspection to the CQC, and would recommend that the regulator maintains the process used in the pilots.

‘I hope they don’t change it. Nobody is going to be upset by it,’ he said.

Despite taking part in the pilot Dr Buckman’s practice will still be inspected by the CQC following registration. ‘If what happened this time happens again I’d be happy,’ he said.

GP practices can expect to be inspected by the CQC once every two years post registration.

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