Company behind GP practice in CQC special measures pledges to improve

The company behind a Berkshire practice named among the first to be placed in special measures by the CQC has moved to reassure patients.

Rating: inadequate practice bidding to improve
Rating: inadequate practice bidding to improve

The Priory Avenue Surgery in Caversham, Reading was revealed on Thursday as one of three practices placed in special measures by the watchdog after being rated ‘inadequate’.

According to North West Reading CCG, the practice received its low rating primarily because of CQC inspectors’ concerns about the ‘quality of clinical leadership for salaried doctors, challenges in recruitment, and audit processes and paperwork procedures in place at the surgery’.

In a statement, Specialist Health Services, which announced it was taking over the running of Priory Avenue Surgery in April 2013, said it had inherited a practice with ‘many challenges’.

‘The recent CQC GP inspection has helped to highlight where we still need to put further work into improving the running and organisation of the Priory Avenue Surgery,’ the statement said.

‘We want to reassure patients that patient care remains our top priority and that we are re-doubling our efforts working with the support of NHS England (South Central), the North and West Reading CCG and the RCGP, to improve the areas of concern highlighted in the report.’

Improvement plan

A statement from the CCG said that an improvement plan was already in place at the time of the CQC inspection and has ‘already begun to deliver improvements’.

Dr Rod Smith, Federation Chairman for the Berkshire West CCG’s said: ‘We welcome the CQC report. It demonstrates that the appropriate checks and measures are in place and provides an additional layer of scrutiny to ensure patient care meets the highest standards.’

The two other practices placed in special measures are Dharmana's Family and General Practice, in Liverpool, and Norris Road Surgery in Sale, Trafford.

The latter practice became the first to be 'named and shamed' by the watchdog in 2013 for failing a range of quality standards.

A statement issued by Norris Road Surgery said: 'Over the last 18 months the practice has worked hard to address the issues raised by the CQC; we are disappointed that the practice did not meet all the standards of the new inspection regime by the time of the inspection, but we remain confident that this is achievable for us. 

'Our priority is to provide safe and effective care for our patients; we wish to emphasise that the inspections have made no criticism of the clinical care provided. We are sorry if any of our patients are upset by the report; we are committed to providing GP services which are of the highest possible standard for patients and strongly believe this practice has a healthy future given the right circumstances.'

* Professor Steve Field: the quality of GP services is good

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