CQC chief inspector's practice rated 'good' despite patient safety warning

The Bellevue Medical Practice in Birmingham, where CQC chief inspector Professor Steve Field is a partner, has been rated 'good' overall but 'requires improvement' for safety following concerns raised during its inspection.

CQC chief inspector of primary care Professor Steve Field (Photo: Pete Hill)
CQC chief inspector of primary care Professor Steve Field (Photo: Pete Hill)

The practice was rated good for being effective, caring and well-led and rated outstanding for being responsive to patients’ needs.

But it has been told by the watchdog whose GP inspection regime is led by Professor Field that it must make improvements to patient safety.

Inspectors found that the practice had processes in place to keep patients safe, but ‘these had not been followed for all patients prescribed high risk medicines’.

They found that patients receiving medicines for cancer, arthritis and mood disorders had not received the necessary reviews or follow-up tests within the required time limits.

Over a fifth of patients receiving treatment for heart failure and high BP had not had reviews in the last 12 months.

They concluded it was therefore in breach of regulation 12 of the Health and Social Care Act for failing to ‘do all that was reasonably practicable to monitor and manage risks to the health and safety of service users’.

Map: GP CQC ratings

The report, signed off by deputy chief inspector Janet Williamson in lieu of Professor Field, ordered the practice to put in place systems and processes to address these risks ‘to ensure patients’ safety at all times’.

The practice was also praised for ‘several areas of outstanding practice’, including work alongside a faith-based charity to distribute meals to homeless people and prescribing an injection in case of accidental overdose.

It also set up specialist weekly clinics ‘to establish trust and maintain continuity’ among patients from 14 different communities at a local asylum centre.

Professor Field is one of five partners that run the PMS practice, who work alongside nine salaried GPs to deliver services to over 8,000 registered patients.

Professor Field said: ‘It is a privilege to continue to see patients as a GP at Bellevue in Birmingham. It keeps me grounded about the issues of practicing as a GP in a deprived inner-city practice, feeling all of the pressures that GPs are under across the country.

‘Bellevue has recently merged into the Modality Partnership and is subject to the same scrutiny by CQC as other GP practices. I accept that improvements have been requested and I know they already been addressed.

‘I am pleased that the practice has been rated outstanding for the responsive domain particularly for the care of vulnerable people including the homeless.’

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