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CQC "unfit for purpose".

The inspection regime for GPs in England should be suspended because it is "overly bureaucratic" and "nit-picking", doctors say.

Medics at the British Medical Association's annual conference said they were being asked to do unnecessary tasks to prepare for assessments including keeping schedules of cleaning regimes and detailed records of staff performance reviews.

Delegates at the BMA conference, in Liverpool, backed a motion saying the current Care Quality Commission (CQC) regime was "unfit for purpose.”

The inspection regime, which started last year, will see all 8,000 practices in England rated by September 2016. So far, more than 1,000 have been assessed.

BMA GP leader, Dr Chaand Nagpaul, said the inspection regime had "lost the confidence" of the profession. He also objected to the suggestion that patient safety would be put at risk if GPs failed to keep such detailed records.

He said: "We have been voicing significant concerns about the CQC’s operation, particularly the overly-bureaucratic and often nit-picking assessments that are wasting days of valuable GP and staff time that could be spent treating patients."

The Royal College of GPs also spoke out against the inspection process, saying there should be an "emergency pause" to stop the GP system going into meltdown.                                                        

There has recently been growing anger in the profession about work pressure. A recent BMA poll suggested nine out of every 10 doctors felt their workloads were harming patient care.

Chief inspector of general practice at the CQC, Professor Steve Field, said he was "extremely disappointed" by the criticisms.

He added while 85% practices had been rated good, or outstanding, it still meant one in seven were not delivering the care that patients expect.

He said: "In the last few weeks, we have found some seriously deficient primary care which has led to us cancelling the registrations of some practices, in the interests of protecting the safety and quality of care for people who use their services."

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