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Four GP practices placed in special measures

Four more GP practices have been put in special measures as the CQC published its latest round of inspection reports.

The practices, which are based in east London, south London, Bicester and Reading respectively, were all given inadequate ratings and will now have six months to make improvements or risk their contracts being withdrawn.

They were among 59 practices whose inspection reports were published at the end of last week, with a vast majority given a positive rating.

Just one received the highest ‘outstanding’ rating – the Audley Health Centre in Stoke-on-Trent – while 41 were rated as ‘good’ and the remainder as needing improvement.

The four practices given an inadequate rating will now have access to support from NHS England to help them improve in highlighted areas, the CQC said.

Dr S Phillips, Dr M Patel and Dr A Patel, in Leyton, east London, were told they must improve staff training among other things. The Langford Medical Practice in Bicester was told it must improve recruitment procedures and the same was the case for Russell Street Surgery in Reading.

The Beeches Surgery in Carshalton, south London, received a mixed bag of improvement recommendations including ensuring patients with long-term conditions are monitored regularly.

The CQC ratings are based on how well practices perform in a series of ‘domains’, such as how caring they are and how well led they are, with reference to different population groups, such as elderly vulnerable patients and families.

Commenting on the decisions, chief inspector of general practice for England Professor Steve Field said that ‘patients should be able to expect high quality and consistent care from every GP practice’.

He said: ‘If we find a practice to be inadequate, we will normally put it into special measures, to allow the practice to access support available from NHS England and to ensure there is coordinated response to help the practice improve.’

A spokesperson for Dr S Phillips, Dr M Patel and Dr A Patel told Pulse they were ‘taking steps’ to address the recommendations and had already improved the documenting of clinical work that had been highlighted as cause for concern.

Langford Medical Practice said they were ‘disappointed’ by the report, and will ‘work closely’ with NHS England and the CCG to make improvements.

NHS South Reading CCG spokesperson said on behalf of the Russell Street Surgery: ‘It is important to note that the CQC report does not itself indicate evidence of direct clinical risk to patients. We encourage any patients who are concerned about the report to contact the practice.’

Beeches surgery practice manager Debbie Williams told the Sutton Guardian: ‘We are committed to delivering excellent patient care and we will be working to implement the improvements the CQC recommended as part of their review.’

Pulse reported last week that the CQC had also put the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland GP out-of-hours service, covering one million patients, in special measures.