Sittingbourne GP practice in ‘Special Measures’

Care Quality Commission (CQC) has placed Dr K E Wilcox and Partners (The Medical Centre) into Special Measures.

England’s Chief Inspector of General Practice has placed The Medical Centre in London Road, Sittingbourne, Kent, into Special Measures following an inspection by CQC in March 2017.

In June 2015 the practice was inspected and rated as Requires Improvement, and at this inspection, the service was rated Inadequate for being well-led and safe and Requires Improvement for being effective. It received a Good for being caring and responsive to people’s needs.

The key findings of the inspection include that risks to patients were not always assessed and well-managed; there was a system for reporting significant events but not all staff understood what constituted an incident; and the practice did not have an adequate supply of medicines and equipment in order to deal with medical emergencies in line with national guidance.

Ruth Rankine, Deputy Chief Inspector of General Practice CQC’s South region, said: “Our inspectors had previously carried out an inspection at the Medical Centre in June 2015 and this new inspection was to follow up on our initial concerns and focus on the work the practice had carried out since that first visit.

“It is worrying that despite the concerns identified at that first inspection, our team found a further decline in the standards and a number of additional concerns. Patients were at risk of harm because systems currently in place were not embedded well enough to keep them safe. For example, not all staff understood what constituted an incident or near miss, leaving patients at risk of being unsafe.

“With this in mind we had no option but to place the practice into special measures. We will re-inspect the practice within six months to check whether sufficient improvements have been made. If we find that the service provided by this surgery remains inadequate, we will consider further action.”

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