Quality of care: We may not like it, but Steve Field has a point

Some areas of general practice are embarrassing - but, unlike the CQC's Steve Field, I am not ashamed of the profession, says Dr Chris Mimnagh.

Let me just annoy you up front. Steve Field has a point in his widely reported comments about general practice.

There are areas of the profession that quite honestly are embarrassing.

Those practices who ‘dump’ work into the out-of-hours services. Those practices whose benzodiazepine prescribing is supporting the criminal economy.

Those practices where appointment waits, home visiting and environment are less than any of us would like for our families.

Don’t get me wrong I’m not being Jeremy ‘it’s appalling that half the practices are below average’ Hunt, I’m just saying that not everywhere is as good as any reasonable GP would like.

However, I’m not in any way, shape or form ashamed of general practice.

I'm proud of general practice

I’m proud that we see 90% of the NHS activity. I’m proud that we operate a service that manages the tension between access and continuity.

I’m proud that some of the brightest minds in this country devote their lives to dealing with the complex daily exposition of the human condition in all its chaotic and varied manifestations.

I am however ashamed of some of our colleagues. Those individuals who have focussed only on secondary care contracting. Those for whom the assessment of primary care is a business rather than a vocation. Those for whom numbers and activity count more than quality and humanity.

I know it’s Christmas and many consider it as season of goodwill to all. Perhaps in light of my comments above may I offer my seasons greetings: Peace on earth and happiness to all and goodwill to general practice.

  • Dr Chris Mimnagh is a GP in Liverpool co-director of clinical strategy at the NHS partnership organisation Liverpool Health Partners

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

Calls for NHSE primary care lead to resign over 'insulting' face-to-face letter

Calls for NHSE primary care lead to resign over 'insulting' face-to-face letter

NHS England's medical director of primary care is facing calls to resign in the wake...

Second-dose COVID-19 jabs brought forward as Indian variant cases rise

Second-dose COVID-19 jabs brought forward as Indian variant cases rise

Second-dose COVID-19 vaccinations for over-50s and at-risk groups will be brought...

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

GPs across the UK are playing a leading role in the largest-ever NHS vaccination...

BMA GP chair: 'GPs let down by tone deaf NHS demands on face-to-face appointments'

BMA GP chair: 'GPs let down by tone deaf NHS demands on face-to-face appointments'

NHS England has let down general practice with its 'tone deaf' demand for all patients...

GPs told to offer face-to-face appointments for all patients

GPs told to offer face-to-face appointments for all patients

GPs have condemned a 'blanket' demand from NHS England that all patients should be...

GP federation network seeks to boost primary care representation amid NHS reforms

GP federation network seeks to boost primary care representation amid NHS reforms

The NHS Confederation has set up a national network for GP federations in a bid to...