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'Inadequate' GP practice avoids CQC deregistration by appealing to tribunal

Exclusive A 2,000-patient GP practice in Nottingham has avoided deregistration after taking the CQC to tribunal, Pulse has learned.

The CQC threatened to close the Mapperley Park Medical Centre earlier this year, following three years in special measures. But following the practice's appeal to the Health and Social Care first tier tribunal, the CQC agreed to a last-minute reinspection.

After the inspection in July, the CQC upgraded the practice's rating from 'inadequate' to requires improvement', saving the practice from closure.

The CQC declined to provide data the number of times it has been taken to tribunal by a GP practice but confirmed to Pulse it was 'very rare'.

The single-hander GMS practice, run by GP partner Dr Mark Stevens, was first placed in special measures in March 2015 before its registration was suspended for three months in September 2016.

After the service was still found be inadequate after two more inspections the CQC began ‘the process of preventing the provider from operating the service’ in November 2017.

But the report said: ‘The provider appealed against this action to the Health and Social Care first tier tribunal.’

It added that after further inspection in July 2018 ‘and prior to the scheduled tribunal hearing a consent order was made by the tribunal which stated that the hearing… would be vacated and the provider’s appeal was allowed on the agreement of conditions being added to their registration’.

Under the conditions, the practice was asked to hire a practice manager to look after ‘day to day operations’.

The July 2018 inspection found improvements to systems dealing with significant events and to systems relating to safeguarding, resulting in an improved rating of ‘requires improvement’.

However, the inspection also revealed that ‘there was still not an effective system to manage the summarisation of patient records’, with ‘over 150 [patient records] which were recorded as not having been summarised’.

The report said: ‘Although improvements have been made there remains a rating of inadequate for providing a safe service. Therefore, the practice will remain in special measures.’

According to the latest inspection report, the practice will remain in special measures after receiving a rating of ‘inadequate’ for safe service.

The CQC’s chief inspector of general practice Professor Steve Field said that although the CQC had begun ‘the process of cancelling the provider’s registration… it was very positive to see that, on our last inspection, improvements had been made’.

He said: ‘While we have seen improvements at the practice, there is still much work to be done and we feel Dr Mark Stevens, Mapperley Park Medical Practice, needs to retain the support of being in special measures to ensure those improvements are made.’

Dr Stevens said: ‘We are pleased our CQC rating has been upgraded. This is good news for our patients, carers and staff and demonstrates our commitment to delivering high quality care which our communities expect and deserve.’

Readers' comments (16)

  • Vinci Ho

    Ha ha ha
    You see ,
    perhaps there is some ‘truth’ when Mojo Bojo wrote in the weekend about Brussels on Daily Telegraph :
    "There comes a point when you have to stand up to bullies.’’

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  • So again CQC telling GPs how to manage their contract...wonder if it had been good without a PM whether they would have said same

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  • "Mojo Bojo" would know all about that wouldn't he.....

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  • This story is indicative of the inherent prejudice that useless organizations like the CQC have against single handed practices . Single handers are often much beloved of patients -you always see the same GP!

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  • Never knew 150 notes not summarised is such a dangerous thing needing practice closure. How about other countries where there is zero summary and I do not see people dying. It just shows the over-regulation. Summaries are helpful but this measure is far too extreme and I might add dangerous to some patients not being able to access care nearby.

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  • patient summaries? WTAF

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  • So our wonderful chairman of the CQC is trying to be seen as a nice guy and supportive of GPs! Ha ha!I presume that this is to ensure that his future knighthood is safe upon him retiring from the CQC! I wonder when he last summarised any patient records if ever or if he can remember what a patient looks like!
    This empathetic and supportive approach is bound to attract the 5000 extra GPs guaranteed by the DOH! LOL!

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  • "When they knock at your front door,
    How you gonna come?..."
    The CQC is simply one of the many nails in the coffin of GP.
    And SF will get a gong, no doubt about it.

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  • Over 150 records not summarised. So what! Well done Dr Stevens for making a stand against these vindictive, incompetent, mendacious bullies. Next visit just do what everyone else does and hide 150 unsummarised notes in the boot of your car.

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  • With apologies
    "When they KICK at your front door..."
    The CQC don't knock - at least not in that sense.

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