Bermondsey GP whose St James’s Church practice was shut by CQC defends record

News Desk (29 September, 2016)

Dr David Zigmond, 70, was a GP for 39 years in the area but in July an inspection by the CQC led to him being taken to court to have the surgery immediately suspended

12251Dr Zigmond


A Bermondsey GP who had his St James Church surgery shut down by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) over the summer, has slammed their report published last week as all about “compliance”.

Dr David Zigmond, 70, was a GP for 39 years in the area but in July an inspection by the CQC led to him being taken to court to have the surgery immediately suspended.

The reasons for doing so were finally published last week in a report that found the practice to be “overall inadequate”.

The regulation breaches found by CQC inspectors included:

  • Lack of emergency equipment
  • Staff did not adequately assess patient consent and capacity
  • The methods for prescribing patient medication were unsafe
  • The practice’s procedures around child and adult safeguarding did not ensure that vulnerable people were kept safe
  • The practice did not comply with a number of current medical guidelines and best practice

But Dr Zigmond has defended his record as a GP in the wake of the decision, saying they expect too much form-filling which gets in the way of actually treating patients.

He told the News: “I’ve been a GP for 39 years. It [the report] makes me look so bad. It makes you think “how did I last a week”! It’s all about compliance. I have had a lot of time to think about it. I am a vocational doctor and am happy to carry my own risk.

“I make decision about patients not the commission. What, I should ask them about what I should do?

“It used to be like a family, the NHS. You would do what you could and help people. We trusted each other and would do what is right.

“Now it’s more of a factory. “We are going to tell you what to do, we are going to instruct everybody”. I would not use a depression questionnaire when someone comes in when their marriage has collapsed. These things are delicate and personal.

“Most doctors don’t say so because they’re young. They have families to support so they have much more to lose. I don’t have anything to lose now that my family has grown up.

“In an IPSO Mori Poll in July I was rated very highly. So how do you square the two? You can’t get away with it for 40 years. I don’t make mistakes and have never had an accident.

“What I am different in is compliance not care or quality. From my patients’ perspective I am a very good doctor.”

Dr Zigmond was praised by his patients for the close relationship he maintained with them, with one saying “his surgery should be used as a guide for how GP practices should be”.

One patient of Dr Zigmond for more than 30 years, said: “Dr Zigmond has seen me through two breakdowns, pancreatic cancer (survivor of eighteen years) and successful neurosurgery. It probably doesn’t tick all the boxes of your idea of a practice being clinical and impersonal and waiting weeks for an appointment.

“But this was never a problem at Dr Zigmond’s. My confidence in his team cannot be matched.”

Ursula Gallagher, Deputy Chief Inspector of General Practice in CQC’s London region, said: “Whilst we absolutely appreciate how important continuity, kindness and compassion are for patients and carers, many additional things are required to ensure that patients are actually receiving the high quality care they have a right to expect.

“Unfortunately in this case we found that many of these elements were either absent or inadequate requiring us to take the action we did.”

To read the full report, visit


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