GP surgeries told to improve ‘inadequate’ services
A MEDICAL practice providing healthcare to more than 22,000 people has been ordered to make improvements to safety and care standards.
Reports by the Care Quality Commission into Emersons Green Medical Centre and Downend’s Leap Valley Surgery, said that both were inadequate in one of five key areas and needed to improve in all the others. The CQC ordered Green Valleys Health, which runs both practices as well as Abbotswood in Yate, to make improvements.
It also rated six specific services – for People with long term conditions, Families, children and young people, Older people, Working age people, People with poor mental health and vulnerable people – inadequate.
Leap Valley Surgery in Beaufort Road has 7,000 patients on its books, while Emersons Green Medical Centre has 12,000 and Abbotswood 3,000.
Last year the Voice reported that the practice had been the subject of complaints over problems in booking appointments, particularly by phone, and had acknowledged that it was "not acceptable" that people sometimes could not get through. The report by CQC Chief Inspector of Primary Medical Services and Integrated Care Dr Rosie Benneyworth highlighted the problem, saying: “Patient satisfaction was below average for access to services particularly via the telephone.”
It said the practice had tried to make improvements but “there was limited evidence to demonstrate whether proposed changes had improved patient satisfaction”.
The report, published after inspectors visited the surgeries over two days in January, added: “The inadequate areas found during inspection impacted on all population groups within the responsive domain, we have therefore rated all population groups as inadequate overall.”
Among the other criticisms outlined in the report, the CQC said: “Staff did not always treat patients with kindness, respect and compassion.
“Patients expressed concerns about the way some of the reception staff dealt with them whilst trying to access services or book appointments.
“Performance indicators from the national GP survey relating to care and treatment as well as the overall patient experience of the GP practice was below local and national averages.”
Concluding overall that the practice required improvement, inspectors acknowledged it had “restructured the leadership and management team so that leaders had time to focus on service development and patient needs”.
The CQC ordered that Green Valleys Health must make improvements to “ensure that care and treatment is provided in a safe way” and “establish effective systems and processes to ensure good governance in accordance with the fundamental standards of care”.
It also recommended the practice continue to monitor and improve the uptake of cervical screening for disease prevention.
The Voice approached Green Valleys Health and Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, which is in overall charge of providing GP services in the area, for a comment on the report.
Responding on behalf of both, a CCG spokesperson said: “We were concerned to read Green Valley Health’s CQC report, which demonstrates there needs to be considerable improvements made at the practice.
“We are aware of the issues, including notable challenges surrounding its telephone systems, and are working with the practice to address all the concerns raised and put into place a recovery plan.”