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CQC reopens inquiry into Clinicenta

By Lilian Anekwe

The Care Quality Commission is set to launch a second round of inspections into private provider Clinicenta after Pulse last week obtained an NHS report detailing failings in its services.

The CQC, the Government's health and social care watchdog, had conducted an initial inspection of Clinicenta sites in October following death of a patient, but was accused of only ‘scratching the surface'.

NHS London's investigation, in cooperation with Clinicenta - a private company that provides out-of-hospital services to 20 London PCTs - found ‘significant clinical, managerial and administrative failings' had contributed to the death of an elderly woman.

A CQC spokesperson said: ‘We are due to make another inspection shortly and will then decide if any improvements have been made to the service and whether we need to take any further action.'

Since the report was leaked to Pulse last week, several trusts have contacted NHS London with further details of complaints. And GPs have revealed they had been coming under heavy pressure from trusts to refer patients to Clinicenta services before their suspension.

Dr Jean Beney, a GP in Edgware, Middlesex, and a member of Barnet LMC said: ‘We were being put under pressure by the PCT to refer to Clinicenta services because the contract had been paid for up front and there were not enough referrals.'

GPC negotiator Dr Chaand Nagpaul said: ‘NHS London was extremely in favour of London PCTs contracting with Clinicenta. There was no consultation with GPs. GPs did not and would not have approved of tying up funding until 2014 with a provider they now nothing about.'

Dr Chaand Nagpaul