GP surgery given six months to improve or face closure after another inadequate rating

This post first appeared on Nottingham Post. Read the original article.

A GP surgery in Mapperley Park could be shut down after it was branded inadequate again by health inspectors.

The Mapperley Park Medical Centre, which cares for 1,900 patients in the Mapperley Park and St Ann’s area, was first placed in special measures by the Care Quality Commision in 2015, and has been rated inadequate four times since.

The latest report, published today following an inspection in November, found there had been some improvements - but not enough.

The practice has now been given six months to improve.

The GP who runs the practice, Dr Mark Stevens, accepted there were areas of weaknesses, but said that they are now working on these, and there will be “clear improvement” by the next inspection.

Professor Steve Field, Chief Inspector of General Practice, who wrote the report, said: “Insufficient improvements have been made such that the provider remains inadequate overall.

“Therefore we are taking action in line with our enforcement procedures to begin the process of preventing the provider from operating the service.

“This will lead to cancelling their registration or to varying the terms of their registration within six months if they do not improve.

“The service will be kept under review and if needed could be escalated to urgent enforcement action.”

In September 2016, the centre was temporarily closed for three months after an inspection found that it failed to meet expected standards.

It reopened in December 2016 after the commission found no reason to extend the suspension, but was rated inadequate in April 2017.

During the latest inspection the CQC highlighted problems with patient safety, particularly in record keeping and identifying at-risk children.

It also claimed that the leadership structure was not effective and staff’s roles and responsibilities were not always clear.

However inspectors found that patient’s feedback was positive and that they “valued the service highly”.

Dr Stevens said: “Our patients are always our first priority and we always seek to deliver the highest quality of service to them.

“As a practice we recognise the areas of weakness identified in the report and have already taken steps to change many of the problems which the inspectors found when they visited in November.

“Since then we have overhauled our significant events and complaints policies, how we code and summarise our patient notes, as well as appointed a dedicated full time practice manager in order to focus on safeguarding, service improvement and maintain higher standards of leadership and team development.

“Our staff are all committed to their continued development which in turn will ensure we provide robust and safe services for our patients.

“It’s disappointing that inspectors did not find evidence of the improvement that were seeking last year but we are confident that we will be able to demonstrate clear improvement when we are next inspected.

Mapperley Park Medical Centre opened in December 2016 after being closed down by inspectors

“It is, however, extremely heartening to read that local patients feel that they are treated with compassion, dignity and respect whenever they visit our surgery.

“All of the patients spoken to as part of the inspection said that they valued the personal care and support they received from our team.

“Since the inspection we continue to receive positive feedback through the Friends and Family Test, with patients recommending our services to those closest to them.

“We would like to thank our patients for their loyalty and support and assure them that we are committed to making these improvements so we can continue to offer a caring service to local people.”

Gary Thompson, Chief Operating Officer for the Greater Nottingham CCGs, said: “We have a duty to ensure local people can access GP appointments in their community and are concerned when a local practice fails to deliver improvements needed to serve its patients effectively.

“Although the practice enjoys very strong support from local people, this inspection has identified clear failures in many processes that must be addressed.

“I would urge the practice to focus on all of the concerns raised in the report and continue to engage with regulators to make the improvements necessary.

“We will continue to work in close liaison with organisations who are offering support to Dr Stevens and the practice team to make sure they receive help throughout this process.”