Special measures warning for village doctors’ surgery

Widdrington Surgery.'REF 1911141138
Widdrington Surgery.'REF 1911141138

A GP practice in Northumberland has been told that it will be put into special measures if it does not improve.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) warning for the surgery in Widdrington Station, run by Widdrington Medical Practitioners, was issued this week after an October inspection. The team made observations, spoke with staff and 16 patients and reviewed data.

Although it was deemed good in the ‘are services effective?’, ‘are services caring?’ and ‘are services responsive to people’s needs?’ categories, it was declared inadequate overall after receiving this rating for the ‘are services safe?’ and ‘are services well-led?’ sections.

The CQC report says: ‘Risks to patients who used services were assessed, but systems and processes to address these risks were not implemented well enough to ensure patients were kept safe.

‘The practice did not have formal arrangements or policies in place to govern activity. Staff meetings were sometimes cancelled and minutes from meetings showed quality reviews were not discussed.

‘The practice must take action to ensure its medicines are handled appropriately and management arrangements are in line with national guidance and recommendations. It must put appropriate arrangements in place to ensure medical equipment is regularly checked and medical consumables are in date.’

Dr Chris Waite, partner at the Grange Road practice, said: “We are disappointed that during a routine inspection by the CQC it was found that, whilst our practice was found to be caring, effective and responsive, it did not meet all of the criteria required, resulting in the practice being categorised as inadequate in some areas.

“We are working with our partner NHS organisations to meet the CQC’s recommendations and to ensure that we are fully compliant. We apologise for any worry or distress this may cause and encourage any patients who have concerns to contact the practice directly.”