North Hykeham GP practice placed in special measures for leaving patients at risk

A North Hykeham GP practice has been placed in special measures after a report revealed patients were at risk of harm and systems for safeguarding children were inadequate.

Inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) visited the Crossroads Medical Practice on Lincoln Road on September 24, rating the service overall as “inadequate”.

The practice provides a range of medical services to around 7,270 patients in North Hykeham.

Inspectors said that the service provided inadequate care for people of all ages, including families, young children, those suffering from mental health problems and vulnerable patients.

The safety, effectiveness and leadership of the practice was rated as inadequate, with the responsiveness of the surgery also requiring improvement.

Inspectors found that patients were at risk of harm because systems and processes were not in place to keep them safe.

The report cited the lack of a robust system for the management of emergency equipment and medicines as a key failure.

Inspectors also noted that systems in place for safeguarding children and vulnerable adults were not robust.

The report added that there was insufficient assurance to demonstrate people received effective care and treatment, with palliative care monitoring being identified as inadequate.

Leadership criticised in report

The service is provided by three full time male GP partners, a part time female salaried GP, an advanced nurse
practitioner, four part time practice nurses and two part time health care assistants.

Staff are supported by an operations manager, an acting practice manager and reception and administration staff.

Leadership of the practice was criticised for a lack of clarity and experience, although this was put down in part to a number of management changes over the last 12 months.

Despite the failures identified, inspectors praised the caring services on offer at the surgery.

The report noted: “Patients said they were treated with compassion, dignity and respect and they were involved in decisions about their care and treatment.”

Professor Steve Field, Chief Inspector of General Practice, said: “Practices placed in special measures will be inspected again within six months.

“If insufficient improvements have not been made such that there remains a rating of inadequate for any population group, key question or overall, we will take action in line with our enforcement procedures to begin the process of preventing the provider from operating the service.

“This will lead to cancelling their registration or to varying the terms of their registration within six months if they do not improve.”

Rebecca Neno, deputy chief nurse at Lincolnshire West CCG, said: “Crossroads Medical Practice has been placed into special measures by the CQC, following a recent visit.

“In its report, the CQC highlights a number of areas where it considers the practice to be inadequate or requiring improvement.

“These have either been resolved or are being addressed by the practice with the full support of Lincolnshire West CCG.

“We note that the CQC rates the practice as good for providing caring services and we are confident that the surgery, which has undergone a number of staffing changes over the last 12 months, will build on this to ensure improvements across all domains.”