LMC representatives backed motions calling for the GPC to 'vehemently oppose' the ratings plan and to urge the CQC to support practices where problems were identified.
South Staffordshire LMC's Dr David Dixon, proposing the motion, told conference that the ratings would be ‘divisive and have damaging consequences for practices and general practice as a whole’. He added they would ‘further demoralise’ the profession.
He questioned whether sufficient evidence would be available accurately to define practices as either 'outstanding', 'good', 'requires improvement' and 'inadequate' and keep this constant across practices.
He said: ‘If there was to be a prize for the best way to reduce morale in GPs, hats off to the CQC, they have won it.’
He added that, although GPs are encouraged to give feedback online, ‘Professor Field didn’t listen to our issues’.
Dr Sara Khan, who also spoke in favour of the motion, compared CQC inspections to ‘unacceptable’ bullying and witch hunts. ‘This isn’t Salem in the 1600s,’ she said.
She said: ‘Any attempt to regulate us must be done in a supportive way.’ She requested support for the motion so the GPC ‘can exert pressure’ on the CQC.
GPC’s Dr Robert Morley agreed that the CQC has been causing ‘horrendous difficulties for GP partners’. He urged the LMC representatives to report any problems they were having with the CQC.
He said: ‘Let us have all the problems, make us aware of what’s happening. Especially from named complaints, if you can convince your constituents to put their heads above the parapet.’