Forest Gate doctors’ surgery in special measures after ‘inadequate’ rating

Stock image of a medical worker.

Stock image of a medical worker. - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

A doctors’ surgery in Forest Gate has been placed in special measures.

A report published last week by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) shows that Shrewsbury Road Surgery was classed as “requires improvement” in March last year and as “inadequate” at a six-month follow-up visit in December.

This means that the practice, which serves 13,000 patients, has to go into special measures and could be closed if it does not improve.

The report judged five things: whether the service is safe, effective, caring, responsive to people’s leads, and well-led.

“Effective” was the only point that the CQC said was “good”. “Caring” and “safe” both “require improvement”, whilst “well-led” and “responsive to people’s needs” are both “inadequate”.

One of the CQC’s key issues was the appointment booking system, which they said “involved extended waiting times and a lack of clarity for patients”.

The commission feared that the walk-in system, “could result in less mobile patients not being able to get to the reception desk as quickly as others, which posed a risk of them being less likely to get a walk-in appointment or secure a shorter waiting time, and even saw two patients who amongst the first to get a ticket in the morning yet were amongst the last to be seen. Most staff had no fire safety training - including the person who was supposed to be the fire safety lead.

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The emergency medicine stock was missing atropine, (used to treat an abnormally slow heart rate), and the Glucagon, (for very low blood sugar), wasn’t refrigerated, nor did it have the date written on it when it was taken out of the fridge - an important oversight.

However, there were some improvements from the earlier inspection.

For example, in March 2016, it was discovered that “the practice’s system for managing patients’ clinical test results was not safe”, because blood tests, scans and x-rays were being processed by a doctor who was qualified overseas, but not by the General Medical Council. Now only registered GMC GP staff are processing test results.

Mira Rajan, the practice manager, said: “Having read the report in its entirety we are surprised at the CQC rating.

“We are in the process of appealing.”