GP practice in special measures first to have registration cancelled by CQC

A GP practice in Liverpool will be the first in special measures to be closed down by the CQC, after failing to improve during six months on the programme.

GP Dr Srinivas Dharmana elected to close his practice voluntarily after CQC inspectors rated the practice ‘inadequate’ for a second time following six months in special measures.

The watchdog has agreed to cancel the Dharmana Family and General Practice’s registration, and it will close in December this year when its current contract with NHS England expires.

In 2013, GPonline reported that Dr Dharmana was the victim of an attack outside his practice in which five masked men stole his car and drove it into him.

NHS England and Liverpool CCG are making arrangements for the practice’s 2,400 patients with other local GP providers.

Although the practice showed some ‘minor improvements’ by the time of its second inspection, inspectors found that it was still ‘inadequate’ for providing safe, effective and well-led care, according to its CQC report.

Map: GP CQC ratings

Among the concerns, inspectors found that lessons ‘had not been learnt’ from medication errors, staff had not received proper vaccination training and oxygen or defibrillators were not available for emergency use at the practice.

Sue McMillan, deputy chief inspector of general practice said: ‘It is important that the people who are registered with Dharmana’s Family and General Practice can rely on getting the high quality care which everyone is entitled to receive from their GP.

‘It is extremely disappointing that the practice has not made the required improvements and is still not providing care of an acceptable standard. The people who rely on this practice deserve better.

‘We had told Dr Dharmana in January that if improvements were not made after a period of six months, we would consider taking steps to cancel the practice’s registration.

‘Following our latest inspection Dr Dharmana has decided to close the practice voluntarily. In the meantime, NHS England and NHS Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group continue to support the practice and are arranging the transfer of patients to alternative GP services in the local area.’

Arrangements for patients

Katherine Sheerin, chief officer at Liverpool CCG, said making sure all of the practice’s patients had continued access to GP care was a ‘priority’.

‘We are working to put additional GP provision in place locally, which will be managed by an existing Liverpool practice. This will be on an interim basis while we make plans for the longer term,’ she said.

‘We understand that the closure of Dr Dharmana’s practice will cause uncertainty for patients, and we will be writing to patients to inform them of what is happening and let them know what their options are. If patients have any concerns in the meantime they can contact Healthwatch Liverpool or the CCG directly.’

Photo: iStock

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