Inspectors uncover failings at Doncaster GP surgery

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Serious concerns have been raised about a GP surgery in Doncaster, following a report by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

In the first national inspection of more than 900 GP surgeries in England, inspectors said they had ‘concerns regarding the health and welfare of some patients’ being treated at Northfield Surgery in Thorne.

Shortfalls in prescribing had resulted in one patient receiving medicine they were not supposed to have been prescribed.

Staff had access to training but there were some gaps in the training plan and appraisal system and the CQC also found shortfalls in systems to monitor the quality of the service provided to patients.

Northfield surgery has been named as one of nine across the country where the CQC said ‘there were very serious failings that could potentially affect thousands of people’.

A spokesperson for the Northfield Surgery said: “The Northfield Surgery were the subject of a CQC report highlighting concerns about patient care delivered back in August of 2013. We recognise and acknowledge that patients should always receive high quality medical services.”

“To this end, hard work undertaken by the team at the Surgery has led to major improvements in the delivery of care for patients and we are delighted to now be fully compliant with CQC standards.”

“In particular, the report highlights staff at the practice as being friendly and helpful and recognises that new training programmes are being implemented to ensure that staff continue to deliver care in line with local and national standards.”

“The latest report is yet to be released officially by CQC but we have been able to see this and welcome it as a positive reflection of the hard work undertaken by the practice team to meet and exceed CQC standards.”

The reports come as Professor Steve Field, the CQC’s new chief inspector of general practice, set out his new approach for the inspection and regulation of GPs and GP out-of-hours services.

He said: “You are talking about problems which can damage this generation and the next generation.”

Figures released by the CQC revealed how some 37 percent of GP practices inspected on the standard relating to their workers failed to meet it, while 24 percent of practices inspected on the standard relating to safety and suitability of premises also failed.

Some 23 percent of practices inspected on their management of medicines failed the standard, while 22 percent failed the standard on cleanliness and infection control.

But just 5 percent failed a standard on the care and welfare of people who use the services and only 3% failed on respecting and involving people who use services.

From April next year, new-style inspections will be introduced that will involve a CQC inspector, a GP, a practice nurse or practice manager and a trainee GP.

Inspectors will visit every clinical commissioning group area in the England area once every six months, inspecting a quarter of the practices in that area.

Every practice will have been inspected by April 2016 and be given Ofsted-style ratings.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “Patients have a right to expect the best care from their GP practice. That’s why we have introduced this new, tougher system of inspection which will root out poor standards and celebrate the best.”