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Independents' Day

CQC names and shames ‘dusty and cluttered' GP practice

The CQC has named and shamed its first GP practice, warning a single-hander in greater Manchester he could face having his services restricted or a notice to cancel his registration if he does not make urgent improvements in a number of areas.

The CQC visited Dr Michael Florin’s practice in June and found he was failing to meet 13 national standards of quality and safety. He now must submit a report by the 1 October detailing how he will become compliant.

He faces further enforcement action if he fails to make the improvements. In the near future CQC inspectors will carry out another unanounnced inspection to ensure the improvements are made.

The regulator added that Dr Florin’s original registration with the CQC was conditional on him making a number of improvements on quality and safety, which were due to be made by last April, so it is ‘disappointing’ that the changes were not in place when the practice was inspected in June.

The news comes after Pulse reported one GP practice in mid Essex was closed by the local area team, partly because they failed the CQC’s premises standards. Two GP practices have also launched a legal battle to reverse the CQC’s decision to close them down.

The CQC’s report from the inspection found the practice fell below the national standards in areas including staff training, staff recruitment, infection control, management and storage of medicines, and medicines management.

It said consulting rooms were ‘dusty and cluttered with inadequate hand washing facilities’ and staff had no training, policy or guidance on infection prevention, nor child safeguarding or treatment of minors.

The inspectors said it was not clear whether information was shared with other relevant health professionals to ensure the patient receives appropriate care.

Confidential records were left ‘unattended or not securely stored’ in a number of areas of the practice. There was also no patient participation group, or any suitable arrangements to monitor the quality of the service, the report said.

It added that inspectors also found a number of medicines used to treat patients in emergency situations were past their expiry date, and some vaccines stored in the fridge were six months out of date.

Malcolm Bower-Brown, regional director of CQC in the North, said: ‘When we registered Dr Florin’s practice earlier this year, it was on condition that the provider addressed a number of shortfalls against the national standards of quality and safety. We were told that these improvements would be in place by April this year.

‘It is a matter of real concern that, following our inspection in June, the surgery was still not meeting 13 of these standards. We have told Dr Florin that he needs to take urgent action to address these issues.

‘We will return unannounced in the near future to check that Dr Florin has made the changes required and will not hesitate to take further regulatory action if required.’

Dr Michael Florin said he was disappointed with the CQC’s report, but reiterated that the inspection made no criticisms about the clinical care at the practice.

He said: ‘Naturally, we are disappointed with the outcome of the recent CQC inspection of the practice and the conclusions of the report which have been published today. I became the sole partner at the practice 18 months ago, and since that time I have taken steps to update many of the practice administration and IT systems.

‘We will continue to work hard to ensure the issues raised in the report are addressed and have established an action plan to ensure this is done as soon as possible. Our priority is safe patient care, and I would emphasise that the inspection made no criticism of the clinical care provided.

‘I’m very happy to meet with any of our patients who have concerns as a result of the CQC report, to discuss those concerns and the plan for meeting the targets set for us.’

Readers' comments (7)

  • The CQC do not comment on clinical care because it is not their remit!

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  • Don't make excuses for poor performers, it's an insult to the rest of us. If you don't know your broom from your elbow, clinical care is the least of your problem.

    It's like saying it's OK to eat at a filthy restaurant because the food is to die for (pun intended)

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  • My practice manager has removed our examination curtains and replaced them with 'papery disposable ones'.

    A neighbouring practice was visited by the CQC and that is what they slated them for. The CQC are nuts. Curtains can be washed. Pretty material curtains are much more uplifting than those that look like they belong in CSI.

    I can see that treatment rooms need to be scrupulously clean but in for consulting rooms I cannot see why the standard should not be that rooms can be cluttered as long as they are clean. Most general practice relies on the patient telling us their history and the examinations are no more dangerous for the next patient than sitting on a well occupied seat in their railway station.

    With the country in the throws of austerity we need a sense of proportion on what really matters.

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  • anon 10.50 - have a look at the report. Briefly will do, as it is full of pettifogging, nit-picking fault finding typical of an inspection body that simply does not understand General Practice. It's a shame because an inspection body for GP was overdue.

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  • Stop worrying about the CQC and start applying for jobs abroad. The new contract will be unworkable. Get out while you can.

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  • Why does everyone wish to leave the country? GPC should ballot the profession about leaving the NHS and its discriminatory pay and pension cuts and its imposed [ innate contradiction] Contract. Please GPC give us all a chance to make a decision. If we stay in the NHS by majority consent then we may take all that is thrown at us or leave.
    At least, let us have a ballot. Afraid, Chand ?

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  • I second the proposal to give us a ballot.

    I don't want to emigrate as I feel I am too old for the upheaval, but I have been researching it and have already been offered sponsorship to another country.

    We are not powerless like we think.

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