DoH twists quality scheme to attack GPs

What does the DoH think GPs have to hide? There seems to be a constant air of suspicion among ministers that GPs are up to something — and that ‘something' is not about delivering good patient care.

The latest example of ministerial paranoia came last week from Lord Warner, who said primary care organisations should scrutinise practices that did not sign up to the RCGP’s planned voluntary accreditation scheme.

The minister wanted every practice to sign up to ensure consistent quality standards across GP practices — which raises the question of what exactly the quality framework is for, if not to ensure consistent quality standards across GP practices (let alone meet requirements for the various directed enhanced services such as for access or IT).

It seems that, in ministers’ eyes at least, those GPs who are tired of a tick-box culture and decide to concentrate limited resources and time on patient care and the already numerous statutory requirements, rather than jumping through an additional set of hoops, are by definition bad doctors.

RCGP chairman Dr Mayur Lakhani has always said the college’s scheme was to be an independent and voluntary process that GPs could use to help develop their practices. It was never intended to be used for ‘punishment and blame’ (GP, 16 June).

And yet that is exactly what Lord Warner wants to use it for.

This, coupled with the CMO for England’s proposal that fitness-to-practise cases be decided on the ‘balance of probabilities’, suggests a deep-set view in the DoH that there is something fundamentally rotten in the medical profession that the government has to uncover.

Despite this suspicion, GPs consistently meet quality targets and have the support of the public. 

There are many real problems in today’s NHS. It is time ministers like Lord Warner concentrated on using valuable time and resources on solving those rather than trying to right some imagined wrong that is invisible to the rest of us.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Pregnant women and under-18s will not be offered COVID-19 vaccine

Pregnant women and under-18s will not be offered COVID-19 vaccine

Pregnant women, children and under-18s will not be recommended for routine COVID-19...

GP training: How an audit e-portfolio log entry is assessed

GP training: How an audit e-portfolio log entry is assessed

The second of two articles on audit during GP training looks at how the quality improvement...

GP training: Writing up an audit for your e-portfolio

GP training: Writing up an audit for your e-portfolio

In the first of two articles on how to write up an audit, a typical e-portfolio entry...

UK ups order of 95% effective COVID-19 vaccine by 2m doses

UK ups order of 95% effective COVID-19 vaccine by 2m doses

The UK has increased its order of the 95% effective Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to 7m...

Coronavirus: Key guidance GPs need to know about COVID-19

Coronavirus: Key guidance GPs need to know about COVID-19

GPonline provides an overview of the key guidance relating to coronavirus, including...

Which COVID-19 vaccines are lined up for roll-out on the NHS?

Which COVID-19 vaccines are lined up for roll-out on the NHS?

As GPs and their teams prepare for delivering a COVID-19 vaccination programme that...