A GP surgery in Stamford has responded to concerns of patient care, access to appointments and practice management detailed in a damning report recently published by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
Lakeside Healthcare Stamford was given an overall rating of ‘Inadequate’ and placed into special measures after an inspection by CQC on June 7 and 8 this year. Lakeside Healthcare at Stamford was created in 2017 following the merger of St Mary’s Medical Centre, Sheepmarket Surgery and The Little Surgery.
The practice was rated as ‘Inadequate’ in categories of Safe, Effective, Responsive, and Well-led, while it scored ‘Requires Improvement’ under the category of ‘Caring’.
The findings were published in a report on August 2, including that three breaches of regulation were found. Lakeside Stamford issued a response on its website the same day, saying that “swift action is being taken”.
CQC found that the practice was not providing care in a way that kept patients safe and protected them from avoidable harm. Patients were also not always receiving effective care and treatment that met their needs.
It was acknowledged in the report that staff most dealt with patients with kindness and respect, and involved them in decisions about their care. However, patients commented that their care had been impacted upon by poor access to appointments.
The report added that the way the practice was being led and managed did not promote the delivery of high-quality, person-centred care. The practice said it has now appointed a Practice Manager and is recruiting an Operations and Compliance Manager to work alongside the new Patient Services Manager.
Within the report CQC listed a number of things the provider must do, including to establish effective systems and processes to ensure good governance in accordance with the fundamental standards of care, and employees receiving the appropriate support, training, supervision, and appraisal necessary to enable them to carry out the duties.
Regarding placing the service into special measures, CQC said: “Services placed in special measures will be inspected again within six months. If insufficient improvements have 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.
“Where necessary, another inspection will be conducted within a further six months, and if there is not enough improvement we will move to close the service by adopting our proposal to remove this location or cancel the provider’s registration.”
The practice said: “The GP partners, staff and executive team acknowledge issues around patient care, access to appointments and practice management, which were being addressed prior to the inspection.
“The Stamford team, with considerable input and support from Lakeside Central team, is focusing its efforts on addressing the CQC’s concerns and listening to patient feedback while continuing to provide day-to-day services for the community.”
The GP surgery had previously been rated as ‘Good’ for providing safe services after a focused follow-up inspection back in August 2019, but the most recent visit this year flagged up a number of concerns.
The practice added: “Lakeside Stamford has, and will continue to remain in close contact with the NHS Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group and other partners while these strategies are embedded.
“The new PPG committee is working collaboratively with the Transformation Manager and has been fully informed of the outcome of the inspection at an early stage to ensure that the patient voice is a valued part of any change.
“Lakeside Stamford is very proud of its team, which has worked throughout a very difficult 18 months to provide GP services and ensure that patients received their vaccines in a timely and efficient manner.
“The outcome of the inspection in June, which is one of the first to have taken place since the pandemic, has been devastating for all staff at Lakeside. However we remain positive about working to restore confidence in the quality of care we provide to the community of Stamford and beyond.”
A full statement from the GP practice can be found here.