Three GP Surgeries placed under special measures over patient safety worries

22 January 2015

Three GP Surgeries placed under special measures over patient safety worries

Three GP Surgeries placed under special measures over patient safety worries

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has seen ‘significant areas of concern’ at GP surgeries in Liverpool, Reading and Sale.

NHS Health Watchdog, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), has put three GP surgeries into special measures in an unprecedented move after they found failings at the practices which were of such concern that the CQC felt the failing would put the safety of patients directly at risk.

It is an unprecedented move as these are the first time GP surgery practices have been placed under special measures. The practices are in Reading, Liverpool and Sale in Cheshire and were seen to be offering patients a poor overall service with “significant areas of concern”.

Patients rights in danger due to "significant areas of concern" in GP surgeries

The placing under special measures means that the surgeries have been told to make improvements urgently otherwise they risk being shut down as the NHS care watchdog will take away their licence to operate.

The CQC saw problems such as a lack of health staff, patients waiting up to four weeks to get an appointment, medical records not being kept up to date and medicines not being looked after properly at the practices.

After the CQC classification the surgeries each have six months to completely change their operations or face closure. The special measure classification means the surgeries in question will be placed under strict supervision with a package of improvement measures to be coordinated by NHS England the Royal College of GPs. frequently receives enquiries from the public regarding GP medical mistreatment whether dealing with misdiagnosis and delay, delayed referrals or improper storage of medical records, prescriptions and medicine.

Case Study 1: The Priory Avenue Surgery in Reading

-14 areas were targeted for improvement after a CQC inspection November 2014

-Too few clinical staff to look after 8,000 patients properly

-When a GP was off sick appointments were being cancelled or rearranged

-Details in previous letters from hospitals and out of care services had not been added to patient records

“It is clear that the Priory Avenue surgery has been going through a period of upheaval, with so many staff leaving that the practice simply hasn’t been able to cope. There had been constant failures in communication between the current directors and GPs, leaving the practice staff demoralised and disillusioned,” said Ruth Rankine, one of the CQC’s deputy chief inspectors of general practice.

Case Study II: Dr Michael Florin’s surgery in Sale, Trafford, Greater Manchester

-CQC found that medicine management was ineffective

-Poor hygiene control policies

-No way to review and monitor patients on their list who were vulnerable or at risk

“We have rated this practice as good for caring and the patients are complimentary about the service. However, this latest inspection has shown that this practice has still got some way to go if it is to deliver the high-quality and consistent care which everyone is entitled to,” said Sue McMillan, another CQC deputy chief inspector of general practice.

Case Study III: Dr Srinivas Dharmana’s family and general practice in Walton, Liverpool

The CQC rated this practice as inadequate in terms of how safe, effective, well-led, caring and responsive it was and had to rely on locum staff and is in dire need of external help.

 “While patients we met spoke highly of the care they had received from this practice in the past, we heard that recently they had not been receiving the same continuity of care from the locum GPs who had been delivering services since the end of 2013,” explained McMillan.

The CQC started to inspect 8,500 GP practices in a much more vigorous and detailed manner in October, which included rating them as outstanding, good, requiring improvement or inadequate.

Patient Care Options

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