The independent London newspaper

Surgery given lowest rating as patients soar

Damning report criticises failure to cope with influx

15 December, 2017 — By Emily Finch

Primary care centre where surgery is based

A GP surgery which failed to boost staff when faced with an influx of 600 new patients was given the worst possible rating by a health watchdog yesterday (Thursday).

Barnsbury Medical Practice, based at Bingfield Primary Care Centre, off Caledonian Road, was branded “inadequate” by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and put under special measures.

The service run by Dr Tahir Haffiz, the sole practitioner, has around 3,100 patients.

The CQC censured the surgery’s treatment of patients with long-term health issues such as asthma, diabetes and hypertension, following the October inspection.

The damning report said that just 20 per cent of patients with asthma had had their condition fully reviewed in the preceding 12 months, far below the national average of 75 per cent.

The report also said immunisation rates at the surgery were below average for all standard childhood immunisations while cervical screening tests for women aged between 25 and 64 were at just 44 per cent, much lower than the local average of 77 per cent.

Cervical screening tests, more commonly known as smear tests, are used to prevent cancer by detecting and treating early abnormalities in the cervix.

Professor Steve Field, chief of inspector of general practice at the CQC, said: “The delivery of high-quality care is not assured by the leadership, governance and culture in place. Although risks to patients were assessed, the systems to address these risks were not implemented well enough to ensure patients were kept safe.”

According to the report, the practice faced an influx of 600 new patients registering in the last two years following the closure of a nearby surgery.

The report said: “The practice’s performance data and feedback from patients indicated that there was insufficient staff and that it was not effectively utilised to meet the needs of patients and improve outcomes.

“The patient list had increased by approximately 25 per cent since our last inspection, but there had been no review or increase in staff, other than the practice nurse working one additional clinical session.”

It added: “There was little evidence of forward planning for patients’ reviews, the provider having told us that these would be done opportunistically over the coming months, when patients attended for flu vaccinations.”

Professor Ursula Gallagher, CQC deputy chief inspector of GP practices, said: “We previously inspected this practice in April 2015 and it was rated ‘good’ overall. It is concerning that it has now been rated ‘inadequate’ overall, though I note it has been rated ‘good’ for caring.

“We are placing this practice in special measures. Practices placed in special measures will be inspected again within six months. During that time the practice will be given the support it needs to improve.”

The surgery could not be reached for comment.


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