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Dartford surgery rated ‘Inadequate’ following inspection

PUBLISHED: 14:47 18 September 2018 | UPDATED: 14:47 18 September 2018

A stock image of doctors and nurses on a hospital ward. Photo: PA

A stock image of doctors and nurses on a hospital ward. Photo: PA

PA Archive/PA Images

The quality of care provided by a Dartford GP surgery has been found to be Inadequate by a Care Quality Commission inspection.

Under CQC’s programme of inspections, all England’s GP practices are given a rating according to whether they are safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led.

When the CQC inspected Elmdene Surgery in Greenhithe, they were found to be providing services that did not meet the standards required.

The report states that the practice did not have clear systems to manage risk, and that when incidents happened the practice did not learn from them or improve the processes.

It also states that the practice did not have reliable systems for appropriate and safe handling of medicines.

According to the report however, staff did have the skills, knowledge and experience to carry out their roles, and treated people with “compassion, kindness, dignity and respect.”

Patients reported issues with contacting the surgery by telephone and it was found by inspectors that leaders did not have the capacity to deliver high-quality, sustainable care.

The safety of the surgery was rated as inadequate, as was effectiveness and observations of how well-led the practice is.

Levels of care and responsiveness were considered judged as ‘requiring improvement.’

Ruth Rankine, deputy chief inspector of general practice and dentistry in CQC’s South region said: “It is important that the people who are registered with this practice can rely on getting the high quality care which everyone is entitled to receive from their GP.

“Inspectors found this service was failing to provide the level of care people should be able to expect.

“We found a number of concerns at this service and as a result of our findings they have been rated Inadequate and placed into special measures.

“We will continue to monitor this practice and we will inspect again in six months to check whether improvements have been made.

“I am hopeful that this practice will do what is required for the sake of their patients, but if we find that this service remain Inadequate, we will consider taking further action.”

A spokesman from the surgery said: “Elmdene surgery team has reviewed the CQC report very carefully and has taken immediate steps to improve the services, as per the CQC recommendations. We are awaiting a further inspection shortly.

“The surgery operates in very challenging situations, while battling with a shortage of GPs and a significant increase in administrative duties for GPs, as well as the administrative staff. The lack of physical space because of the size of the building has added to the challenges.

“We would like to take the opportunity to thank the various authorities for their continuous support in helping the surgery dealing with complex issues.​​”

The reports detailing inspectors’ findings have now been published and are available at: https://www.cqc.org.uk/location/1-540476120/inspection-summary#wellled.

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