Care Quality Commission (CQC) registration was branded "complex, burdensome and costly" today (9 June 2011) by the leader of the BMA's GPs' Committee.
Dr Laurence Buckman said the proposal, which could be extended beyond its April 2012 deadline, lay on the "torture horizon" for general practice.
In his opening address to the Local Medical Committee's national GP conference in London, Dr Buckman also suggested that the taxpayer, rather than GP practices, should foot the bill for the cost of CQC registration.
"If it is a tax that will ultimately depend on the taxman to pay up, why don't CQC and the Department of Health cut out the middle man and just let the treasury give CQC the money they require to do their job?" he said.
He also branded the requirement a "creative writing exercise that will cost money and take GPs away from patient care.
The GPC leader called for ministers to make more concessions to the Health Bill than those indicated earlier this week by the prime minister, due to be announced at the end of the 'listening exercise'.
"Please do not let this exercise just be a respray job to try to persuade us to accept the unacceptable," Dr Buckman said.
Outlining the GPC's demands to government, he insisted: "We want an explicit duty on commissioning consortia to fully involve all relevant clinical staff. We want Monitor's primary duty to be to ensure comprehensive and integrated services rather than to promote competition. And we want a more realistic timetable for the handing over of all responsibilities to all commissioning consortia.
"Above all, we want patients to be reassured that their GP continues to place their needs at the heart of their clinical decisions," he said.
The GPC leader also warned ministers not to confuse support for clinically led commissioning with support for the Health Bill. "Getting into the lifeboats is not the same as supporting the sinking of the Titanic," he said.
Your comments (terms and conditions apply):
"I totally agree that the CQC process of registration and demands are extremely complex and demand unnecessary time and pressure on providers of community services. The CQC process should focus on working with providers rather than enforcing unrealistic demands and money. the role of CQCs could very well be managed by local governments who are clear about their geographical areas, their communities, and economic situations" – Nusret Ahmed, Manchester