Ashfield Medical Centre ruled ‘inadequate’ by Care Quality Commission (CQC)

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An Ashfield GP practice has been put into special measures after an inspection found it to be ‘inadequate’.

Ashfield Medical Centre in Sutton was inspected by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in March, who found there were a number of improvements to be made.

Inspectors from the health regulator attended the King Street centre to look at whether it was safe, effective, caring, responsive and well led.

England’s chief inspector of general practice has placed the surgery into special measures when the inspectors found it to be ‘inadequate’.

A spokesman for the CQC said data from the medical centre, which provides services to 3,320 patients, showed some aspects of service and access “did not promote good outcomes for patients”.

One improvement that must be made at the practice is that staff should be having criminal record checks and risk assessments, especially if they are undertaking chaperone duties, the report said.

The CQC have also told them to put more “robust systems” in place to monitor their patient services, including looking at comments and complaints.

And the regulators have said audits must be completed to demonstrate improvements have been made to patient outcomes.

The report also outlined that the practice must ensure infection prevention and control processes are strengthened to assure the provider that staff have up to date training and guidance.

Janet Williamson, deputy chief inspector of general practice and dentistry at the CQC, said: “It is important that the people who are registered with Ashfield Medical Centre can rely on getting the high quality care which everyone is entitled to receive from their GP.

“There was a clear leadership structure and staff felt supported by management.

“However, governance arrangements needed to be strengthened to ensure effective systems were in place to regularly assess and monitor the quality of services provided.

“We have found significant areas of concern, which is why we are placing the practice into special measures - so opening the way to support from NHS England among others.

“We know that Ashfield Medical Centre has acknowledged the areas where action must be taken.

“We will continue to monitor this practice and we will inspect again in six months to check whether improvements have been made.

“I am hopeful that the practice will do what is required for the sake of its patients, but if we find that the service remains inadequate, we will consider taking further action.”

Patients are being reminded by the CQC that ‘special measures’ ensures that there are no immediate risks to patient safety and the practices will remain open.

Dr Shibopriyo Mukhopadhyay, lead GP at the practice, said: ““Our practice was rated as good for providing services that are caring, but we require improvement and are inadequate in other areas.

“We are pleased that the CQC’s report also acknowledges the consistently high satisfaction feedback we receive about the care and treatment we provide – The Patients they spoke to as part of the inspection felt that the Practice offered a good service and all staff were efficient, helpful and caring.

“We would like to thank our patients for their loyalty and support and assure them that we are committed to making these improvements so that we can continue to offer a caring service to local people.

“Over the coming months the practice website will have all the up to date information about the improvements we are making.”

A full report of the inspection has been published at: www.cqc.org.uk/location/1-484512318