Practice responsible for health of Northamptonshire's 'violent patients' rated 'inadequate'

A Northampton health care practice responsible for 11,500 patients across the town has been branded inadequate by the healthcare watchdog.

Maple Access Partnership has thousands of patients on its roll. Based in a purpose-built office in Hazelwood Road, it also offers health care to rough sleepers at Oasis House and holds the county's Violent Patients Contract.

Maple Access has been scolded by the CQC and handed the lowest rating available by the watchdog.

Maple Access has been scolded by the CQC and handed the lowest rating available by the watchdog.

But now the practice has been scolded by inspectors in a new report, and criticised for failing to show it had "the capacity and skills to provide safe care.

The CQC has now handed the service an "inadequate" rating -the lowest available under the scheme - and given it six months to improve.

The report, which was published yesterday (June 26) reads: "The practice was unable to show that staff had the skills, knowledge and experience to carry out their roles.

"The premises were not being regularly assessed to ensure their safety. This posed a risk to patients and staff at the practice... It did not have all of the required emergency drugs in stock to ensure patient safety."

As a result, Maple Access has been placed on special measures and if it does not make improvements could lose its medical registration.

This includes redoubling efforts to provide care "in a safe way", ensuring their staff have the right skills and "improving the uptake of child immunisations".

Maple Access currently holds Northamptonshire's "Violent Patients Contract" as a specialised service and treats people who have been aggressive in their GP practice.

In fact, its charter set out on its NHS webpage reads it aims to be "advocates for patients who do not have a voice" and "respond to marginalisation and vulnerability and its implications for health with humane, imaginative and effective primary care".

As a result, it also has a higher-than-average number of patients with substance misuse issues, complex mental health needs and patients with no fixed abode.

It was even praised as "good" and even "outstanding" in some areas when it was lasted visited in 2014. But since then it has slipped down to the lowest rating available under the watchdog.

The new report is based on an inspection in May 2019.