Scrap QOF, appraisals and CQC to deliver 1,371-GP workforce boost, says FDA

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt could deliver a third of his pledge to recruit 5,000 new GPs by scrapping the QOF, appraisals and CQC inspections, according to the Family Doctor Association (FDA).

Dr Peter Swinyard: plan to save GP time (Photo: JH Lancy)
Dr Peter Swinyard: plan to save GP time (Photo: JH Lancy)

The FDA says the changes would cost nothing, improve GP morale and have no impact on patient care.

Cancelling GP appraisals, which each take 'six hours of combined GP appraisee and GP appraiser face-to-face time' would save the equivalent of 150 GPs, with a further 600 GPs delivered by time freed up from preparation for appraisal.

Scrapping the QOF would effectively create 300 new GPs, the FDA argues, by liberating roughly 10 doctor-days per practice per year.

Scrap CQC inspections

The equivalent of 201 GPs could be freed up by scrapping CQC visits, which the FDA says consume over 7,000 doctor-days per year.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt pledged to boost the GP workforce by 5,000 by 2020, but recent data show the NHS is struggling to recruit doctors to GP training posts while a wave of retirements is looming.

FDA chairman Dr Peter Swinyard said: 'You may nit-pick over the back-of-an-envelope figures, but the principle remains. Each of these ideas, previously considered worthy, has taken time away from patients. Patients will actively benefit from this reinvestment of time in clinical consultations.'

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