Surgeries in Haverhill and Kedington are rated as 'inadequate' by the Care Quality Commission
The organisation that manages the Christmas Maltings and Clements practice in Haverhill and the surgery in Kedington has expressed its disappointment after a health watchdog placed all of them in special measures.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) gave an overall rating of ‘inadequate’ for the three surgeries following its inspection visit on January 24.
A rating of ‘good’ was however given for the ‘caring nature of staff’.
Among the concerns raised in the inspection report were that patients were ‘not always able to access care and treatment in a timely way’ and that ‘the practice was unable to evidence that there was an effective system in place for the monitoring of clinical staff to ensure they were competent’.
Chief Inspector of General Practice Professor Steve Field’s report also revealed that out of date insulin was found in a fridge in the dispensary. It had expiry dates of September 2018 and December 2018.
The Suffolk GP Federation, which took over the practice about 20 months ago, said of the CQC inspection: “We are very disappointed that Christmas Maltings and Clements has been found to be inadequate, although we are pleased it is rated as caring.
“We were aware of most of the issues highlighted in the CQC report.
“Our staff have been working hard for many months to address them.
“Many have been rectified post the inspection but others will take time to resolve.
“We are improving the service as fast as we can and implementing every initiative recommended by NHS England.
Dr Paul Driscoll, Suffolk GP Federation Medical Director, said: “When we took on the practice in July 2017 it had many long-running and significant challenges.
“The team’s hard work has already led to improvements in managing long-term conditions and medication reviews.
“Moving the dispensary to the Clements site will assist with this and enhance clinical supervision.
“Most importantly, we have been able to recruit permanent doctors for the first time in several years.”
Prof Field’s report says the practice will be inspected again within six months of the January visit and if insufficient improvements have not been made it could have its registration cancelled or services could be suspended.
The CQC found that in terms of having ‘safe services’ and ‘responsive services’, the practice ‘requires improvement.’
It also considered the practice in ‘inadequate’ in having ‘effective’ and ‘well-led’ services.
Positives were, however, found in the feedback received from patients on the day of the inspection as their comments were ‘positive about the caring nature of staff’.
Inspectors also discovered that ‘complaints were handled appropriately and within a timely manner’.
A number of enforcement actions have also been made by the CQC and must be addressed by the practice to ensure regulations are met in future in certain areas, including:
n The practice was unable to evidence there was an effective system in place for the completion of patient medicine reviews. On the day of the inspection, approximately 2,100 medicine reviews were still outstanding and of those completed reviews we looked at, not all reviews had been completed to an adequate standard.
n The practice was unable to evidence there was an effective system in place for the coding of patient records.
n The practice was unable to evidence there was an effective system in place for monitoring the medicines held in the dispensary. Insulin was found in the refrigerator of the dispensary which had expiry dates of September 2018 and December 2018.
Christmas Maltings and Clements and Kedington, which has around 17,350 registered patients, has seven salaried/regular locum GPs, four practice nurses, including a lead nurse and two emergency care practitioners .
It also has three advance nurse practitioners, two physician associates and three health care assistants.
A number of administrative staff support the clinical team including a practice manager, receptionists and administrators. There is a team of dispensing staff, including a dispensary manager, who work with the pharmacists.