GP practice placed in special measures

Brought to you by the News Guardian.
Brought to you by the News Guardian.

A GP practice has been warned it must improve its services after being placed in special measures.

Spring Terrace Health Centre, in North Shields, has been rated ‘inadequate’ by inspectors at the Care Quality Commission following a visit in March.

I do not believe the practice is likely to resolve its challenges without external support

Sue McMillan, deputy chief inspector of general practice

Although inspectors received some positive comments from patients who said that they were treated with dignity and respect by staff, they identified a number of significant concerns.

Patients reported difficulty in obtaining appointments while inspectors found a lack of effective systems in place to monitor the safe running of the practice.

There were no health and safety risk assessments in place and staff had not received fire safety training.

Additional concerns were identified in relation to recruitment procedures at the practice as appropriate checks on staff had not been undertaken.

Sue McMillan, deputy chief inspector of general practice, said: “It is important that the people who are registered with Spring Terrace Health Centre can rely on getting the high quality care which everyone is entitled to.

“I do not believe the practice is likely to resolve its challenges without external support. This is why we are placing the practice into special measures.

“After six months we will inspect again to check whether sufficient improvements have been made.

“If we find the service provided by this practice remains inadequate, we will consider taking steps to cancel its registration with CQC.”

A spokesperson for Spring Terrace Health Centre said: “During a routine inspection by the Care Quality Commission it was found that Spring Terrace Health Centre did not meet in full all of the criteria required, resulting in the practice being categorised as inadequate.

“We can confirm there are no concerns with regards to patient safety at the practice and patients should visit as normal.

“We are working with our partner NHS organisations and confirm we are fully compliant and expect to meet the Care Quality Commission’s recommendations in six months.

“We apologise for any worry or stress this may cause and can confirm that we are committed to providing GP services which are of the highest possible standards for patients.”

The Care Quality Commission has identified a number of areas for improvement, including:

• The practice must ensure systems and processes are established and operated effectively in order to assess, monitor and improve the quality of service provided in carrying out the regulated activities.

• The practice must ensure risks are effectively assessed, monitored and mitigated in relation to the health, safety and welfare of patients receiving care and treatment in relation to patients being able to obtain a consultation with a healthcare professional.

• The practice must ensure records which are necessary to be kept in relation to staff and management of the regulated activities are maintained.

• The practice must ensure they have a formal system for clinical audit which improves quality.

• The practice must ensure staff receive appropriate training in order to carry out the duties they perform.