GP failings revealed: maggots, dirt and medicine mix-ups

Doctor's surgery

Care Quality Commission exposes ‘basic failings’ in more than 300 GP practices in England

LAST UPDATED AT 09:48 ON Thu 12 Dec 2013

HEALTH inspectors have exposed a series of “basic failings” in GP practices in England, with some treatment rooms so dirty that they had maggots.

The Care Quality Commission reviewed more than 900 practices, mainly targeting those deemed to be high risk. Concerns were expressed about one third of these practices.

In nine cases the failings were so serious that they could "potentially affect thousands of people", the CQC said. All were ordered to make urgent improvements or close.

The care watchdog found examples of emergency drugs being out of date and vaccines not kept in properly regulated fridges - something which could damage the effectiveness of the jab and cause outbreaks of disease, says the BBC.

In one surgery, queues were so long that patients brought in stools to sit on, while in another patient consultations were being carried out in a room with no door.

At Northfield Surgery in Doncaster, inspectors found evidence of patients receiving the wrong medicines, while Long Street Surgery in Leicestershire was unable to demonstrate reasonable steps to protect children and vulnerable adults from abuse.

Roger Goss, from the campaign group Patient Concern, described the failings as “inexcusable”. He said: “The standards the CQC wants met are the basic minimum for protecting patients' safety, let alone improving their health.”

Dr Maureen Baker, chair of the Royal College of GPs, said the breaches of procedure “cannot be condoned – even if they are isolated incidents”. But she added that the “vast majority of practices do an excellent job of delivering quality care while maintaining the highest possible standards”.

The checks were partly carried out to help test how a new GP inspection regime will work when it is launched in April. The CQC is aiming to inspect all 8,000 practices over the following two years and give them one of four ratings: ‘outstanding’, ‘good’, ‘requires improvement’ or ‘inadequate’. Previously GPs have faced only local audits.
 
The nine practices found to have the most serious failings were:

  • Nye Bevan House, Rochdale, Greater Manchester
  • Norris Road Surgery, Sale, Greater Manchester
  • The Wolds Practice, Tetford, Lincolnshire
  • Kingshurst Medical Practice, Birmingham
  • Northfield Surgery, Doncaster
  • Dr Satish Patel, Newtown, Reading
  • Long Street Surgery, Wigston, Leicestershire
  • 63 Lincoln Road Surgery, Peterborough
  • King Street Surgery, Burton-on-Trent

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Disqus - noscript

This is another NHS scandal coming so soon after the instances of the gross neglect of many elderly patients in far too many health Authority hospitals. We all expect for ourselves and the elderly to be safe when admitted to hospital but so often the neglect starts at A&E and continues on the wards. Now we hear about of over 300 GP practices in a sample of 1000 failing to meet even the most basic standards of cleanliness and care. This combination of a corruption of conscience, care and concern for so many vulnerable people caught up in the health service, combined with the lowering of standards and expectation of good care is symptomatic of a deeper underlying sickness in our society. I believe the very ethos, ideologically based as it was and is, of the NHS is the sickness at its core. People paying a GP fee would give them the right to expect and demand more!

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