CQC proposals do not address bureaucratic burden on GPs – and risk taking up more time that should be spent on patient care, says RCGP

Publication date: 30 August 2017

Professor Martin Marshall, Vice Chair of the RCGP, said: The CQC proposals are very disappointing, especially at a time when GPs are struggling to cope with unprecedented pressures of increasing patient demand, insufficient investment and severe GP shortages.

"It is remarkable - and to the credit of our hardworking family doctors across the country - that, even in the face of such pressure, over 90% of GP practices have been rated as good or outstanding by the CQC.

"Patients deserve good quality care from their GP practice, wherever they live. The College supports a revised approach to regulation that will reduce the regulatory and administrative burden on GPs, encourage quality improvement and promote accountability, while addressing long-standing unacceptable performance.

"But effective regulation must add value to the care of our patients, not detract or distract from the quality of it. Nor should it divert already limited resources away from hard pressed GPs who are working flat out to provide frontline care.

"While some of the proposals may make sense in isolation, collectively they do not address the issue of the growing regulatory and administrative burden on GP practices.

"In the short term at least, the CQC's proposals could result in an increase in the administrative burden on practices if they are expected to provide additional information and keep it up to date.

"GPs also need to be assured that the time, effort and resources for monitoring and information gathering are targeted on those practices most likely to benefit.

"Parts of the proposed new approach will be welcomed by GPs and their teams,  particularly the longer interval between inspections for good and outstanding practices.

"However, the overall impact of the regulatory burden on GPs will not be reduced by these proposals and they are not sufficient to make a significant difference to the day-to-day workload and working lives of GPs.

"We have raised these concerns in our response to the CQC consultation and will be pressing for these to more fully reflected in the CQC's proposals.

"Meanwhile the College will continue to do everything we can to ensure that GPs are supported to do their jobs and that GP time is spent where it matters most - on the care of patients."

Further Information

RCGP Press office: 020 3188 7574/7575/7633/7410
Out of hours: 0203 188 7659

Notes to editor

The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 52,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.

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