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

GPs delivered huge rise in face-to-face consultations in week before NHS England letter

GPs delivered huge rise in face-to-face consultations in week before NHS England letter

GPs delivered a huge increase in face-to-face appointments in the week before NHS...

RCGP facing legal action over stance on assisted dying

RCGP facing legal action over stance on assisted dying

The RCGP is facing legal action over its decision to remain opposed to assisted dying...

Medeconomics Live aims to help practices thrive under the new GP contract

Medeconomics Live aims to help practices thrive under the new GP contract

The one-day, virtual Medeconomics Live conference aims to provide practices with...

GPs face wave of abuse and complaints after NHS England face-to-face appointments claims

GPs face wave of abuse and complaints after NHS England face-to-face appointments claims

GP practices have faced a wave of abuse and complaints after a letter from NHS England...

Government denies plan to make GPs 'gatekeepers' of COVID-19 testing

Government denies plan to make GPs 'gatekeepers' of COVID-19 testing

The government has denied plans to make GPs 'gatekeepers' of the struggling COVID-19...

Expansion of NHS 111 service could see direct GP booking extended

Expansion of NHS 111 service could see direct GP booking extended

Plans to expand NHS 111 under measures to prepare the health service for winter could...