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30th August 2013

Field of View

At last we have confirmation that Professor Steve Field will join CQC to lead the inspection and regulation of primary care medical services.  According to CQC, he will -

  • Champion the interests of people who use primary medical services.
  • Make judgments about the quality of care provided.
  • Ensure that health and adult social care services join up seamlessly.
  • Introduce a ratings system for registered primary care providers.

Professor Field said: “I am thrilled at being appointed the first Chief Inspector of General Practice in England. I see this as a wonderful opportunity to highlight what’s good in general practice and dentistry, and to shine a light on what isn’t. It’s an opportunity to make sure that all organisations are encouraged to live up to the standards of the best.”

The Chief Inspector of General Practice will lead CQC’s inspection and regulation of providers of primary care services across the public, private and independent sectors. As more care is provided to people outside hospital, the Chief Inspector has a particularly important role in ensuring those services are safe, effective, caring and responsive to people's needs and well-led.  As part of his role he will introduce a ratings system for registered primary care providers. The system will identify good, as well as poor, care in order to support commissioning decisions and a more informed user choice

CQC Chief Executive David Behan said: "It is important that the Chief Inspector of General Practice is trusted, not only by his peers in primary care, but leaders, staff, and managers throughout the NHS. Steve Field is known and respected across healthcare and is the ideal person to lead our work in primary medical services, as well as to ensure that those services link well with other health services and with social care."

However uncomfortable you may feel about a clinical inspectorate, the appointment of an experienced GP in leadership should mean that inspection will be relevant and appropriate.   This is designed to counter the arguments that inspection teams have no connection with medical practice.  Watch this space!

Dr. John Shapter – QCS GP Expert Contributor

Topics: GPs


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