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Hazardous teddy bears

The CQC isn’t happy about toys being removed from GP reception areas and consulting rooms, writes Dr Livingstone. And for once I think I might actually agree with them

Sorry to write with my mouth full, but I'm blogging as I eat a large slice of humble pie. I've spent much of the past few months slating the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and its draconian requirements – and now, here I am, doffing my cap to them.

Because the CQC has just put the boot into PCTs for being too heavy-handed about the hazards of toys in reception areas and consulting rooms. Some time ago, the local Infection Control Team told us, in no uncertain terms, that all toys (and carpets, and curtains, and pictures, and morale) had to go, because otherwise they'd infect everyone with Ebola or something.

Now we're in a toy (and carpet and curtain and picture and morale) free world, the CQC says this is a load of cobblers. Yes. Result. Not only will they make surgeries happier, friendlier places, they've provided Pixar with a ready-made script for Toy Story 4.

A little part of me does wonder if the CQC has got this one right, though. I sneakily kept a teddy in reserve to placate uber-grumpy kids and, over the years, it has suffered a lot of abuse in the form of sneezes, dribble, vomit and so on. I'm not saying it's actually a biohazard. But it is odd how it glows in the dark.

I sneakily kept a teddy in reserve to placate uber-grumpy kids

Dr Livingstone is a real-life GP lost somewhere in the NHS jungle. A reluctant part of a GP commissioning consortia, he offers his slightly wry look at all things NHS.

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