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CQC suspends 14,000-patient GP practice over patient safety concerns

Exclusive A GP practice with over 14,000 patients has been temporarily suspended by the CQC following concerns over patient safety.

The Staunton Group Practice in Haringey has been suspended for six months with the four GP partners ‘unable to see patients at the practice’ during this time.

An 11-practice partnership in nearby Enfield has had to step in to care for the patients.

With 14,658 patients registered at the practice, it is thought to be one of the biggest practices to be suspended by the CQC.

The most recent CQC inspection identified breaches to the Health and Social Care Act that raised ‘concerns over safety and governance at the practice’.

A statement on the practice website said: ‘Following the recent CQC visit we need to inform you the current partners are unable to see patients at the practice for the next six months.’

It added that the practice ‘will continue to provide full medical services and will be supported by Medicus Health Partners’.

Medicus Health Partners is a partnership of 11 GP practices in Enfield, which formed at the end of last year.

The CQC report from January said that the partners at The Staunton Group Practice ‘did not ensure there was a system in place to identify and support vulnerable children and adults and ensure safeguards were in place’. 

It added: ‘There was not a robust process to ensure that clinicians were aware of relevant and current evidence-based guidance and standards.’

These issues meant the practice was in breach of regulations laid out in the Health and Social Care Act.

The CQC confirmed that action has been taken with the practice following a recent inspection, adding that any action was not taken lightly.

They added that the action was proportionate to the severity of what was found on inspection.

Londonwide LMCs said their GP support team, which helps practices navigate the sanctions placed on them by the CQC and improve their rating, is currently supporting the practice.

Dr Farah Jameel, BMA GP committee executive team member, said: ‘We will be watching the situation closely. It is vital that the CCG works closely with the LMC to ensure patient services are maintained and neighbouring practices are not destabilised.’

At the time of publication NHS Haringey CCG had not replied to requests for comment. The practice declined to comment.

Readers' comments (20)

  • I suggest the CQC should be suspended indefinitely for the extra risk they have exposed this practice population to.
    A draconian and probably unnecessary action

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  • I don't think CQC realise how many lives they put at risk when they do this .We have had a recent visit and awaiting report which I suspect will show many failings which we were unaware of and it was a horrendous few for our staff like a Spanish inquisition.

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  • What CQC does not weigh if how much loss of continuity of care to this large population it is going to cause . Also the lack of any medical support will cause disruption to elderly and vulnerable till the temporary care team of other surgery get the grips. Its time CQC looked at its own functioning as a poor performing organisation rather than displaying its kills in tick box measuring exercise.

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  • The CQC itself is putting 14,000 patients at risk with their actions.

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  • With aid of the CQC, the domino effect will become an avalanche effect.

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  • Whenever I hear about CQC failing a practice it always talks about process and protocol and not about clinical care. practices I know of were failed for back office functions as these are easy to grade by box ticking. so for instance not having a reference for mambers of staff who had been working there for over 20 years caused a fail. Not having photos of staff in their file a fail. Washing window curtains once a year instead of twice caused a fail as did the doctors drinking tea in the consulting room.
    When general practice is struggling this kind of petty and vindictive nit picking is exactly the WRONG way to vet and check services. Anyone working for CQC should hang their heads in shame.

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  • If I worked for the CQC i would look on my career as an epic fail,whatever end of my career I was at at the time.

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  • It sounds like this is a failure to develop or maintain a register. I think we should be informed ASAP exactly what did transpire.
    This extreme punishment/sanction/reckless disenfranchisement of 14,000 patients probably has no bearing whatsoever on clinical care.

    If this is a proportionate response from the CQC, then we must be looking at a Practice full of child-abusing Shipmans. Is that the case or not?
    If not, then BMA please get legal advice on this seemingly dangerous and power-mad gambit by CQC.

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  • doctordog.

    Strange how the practice declined to comment.
    I would be commenting very loudly to everyone about this.

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  • Yes truth finder I would have thought that some medical care was better than none at all. Could the CQC allowed the practice to continue functioning, even if policed, so patients could have some medical service rather than none at all. Unless that is the CQC have suddenly found enough satisfactory locums to run the practice for free!

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  • How ridiculous and irresponsible of the CQC who lack any credibility. So many of our local practices have been failed by the CQC--yet the practices that none of us would send our loved ones to are given good or outstanding. What a shambles.

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  • Maverick

    No worries. Staunton Group Practice is just a tad under 11 miles from Dr S Jeffries and Partners. What's the problem?

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  • Maverick

    Sorry.... Dr Jefferies and Partners. Very popular London Practice now accepting patients.

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  • I am shocked ...are we all at risk and why ..?
    BMA needs to report ..what can stop so many consultations..
    I expect serious malpractice to stop so many doctors ..

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  • Interesting times, a more corporate approach is required to avoid falling foul of the rules and regulations. But we know that continuity and owner operators save money and are far cheaper, don’t we?

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  • We are all one of two clinicians leaving away from this happening,the system is on a cliff edge and the establishment are pushing us all over.

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  • The Govenment's bully boys strike again!
    Shame on any doctor who works for the CQC and treats their colleagues like this.
    Give up doing the DOHs dirty work for them, roll you sleeves up and join the rest of us doing some proper work seeing patients.

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  • Dear Pulse

    please could you ask for a legal team to write an article into pulse about how we can take the CQC to court and challenge them on their decisions if the need ever transpired.

    we can no longer rely on the BMA or the LMC to defend us adequately.

    in the same way we have HR teams on retainer, I think as practices we now need legal teams on retainer.

    thanks

    - anonymous salaried!

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  • I must say, I commend CQC action taken to take out the St Mary's Island Contract holder. A decision taken too late for some patients but nonetheless a necessary one. After this example of absolute nonchalance and exposure of patients to harm, I wonder whether CQC isn't a necessary evil especially for Practices where things are taken for granted.

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  • Hopefully far more to this than meets the eye and some drastically unsatisfactory medical practices going on to justify what in effect is striking the Gps off the medical register.
    "systems being in place " may bear no relation to how effectively care is actually provided, and if lack of so called "systems" being in place is only major concern please can CQC be severely censured and high-ranking heads in their organization roll

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