Northampton doctor's surgery improves... but inspectors still rate it 'requires improvement'

Kings Heath Practice
Kings Heath Practice

A Northampton GP surgery still has some way to go to satisfy the health watchdog, according to new inspection report.

When inspected by the Care Quality Commission six months ago, Kings Heath Practice received an ‘inadequate’ rating and was placed in special measures.

Kings Heath Practice is still rated as 'requires improvement'

Kings Heath Practice is still rated as 'requires improvement'

A report published yesterday (Wednesday) following an announced inspection showed improvement in many areas but still rates the practice ‘requires improvement’ overall.

In particular, the leadership of the practice was criticised and branded 'inadequate'. The practice was also rated 'requires improvement' in two areas - providing safe services and providing effective services.

Professor Steve Field writes in the report: "The overall rating for this practice is requires improvement due to concerns in providing safe and well-led services.

"However, the population groups have been rated as requires improvement or good due to some improvement with effective and responsive care and treatment being delivered at the practice."

He added: "Although we found the practice to be improved since our last inspection, we did not yet have evidence that the improvements would be sustainable over time and we found further issues which had not been identified at the last inspection."

Safety of services was rated 'requires improvement' because:

• Staff were not always clear on who to report safeguarding concerns to.

• The practice needed to provide more information and guidance to staff to help them recognise and manage sepsis.

Effectiveness of services was rated 'requires improvement' because:

• Improvement was needed in relation to patient screening, diabetes and asthma reviews.

• Staff were trained and supported in their roles, however, clinical supervision and oversight was not always in place.

It was rated 'inadequate' for providing well-led services because:

• The lack of consistent practice management presence was impacting on the quality of care and treatment.

• Areas such as unplanned admissions and patient follow-ups need to be fully audited.

However, caring and responsive services was rated 'good' because:

• Staff dealt with patients with kindness and respect and involved them in decisions about their care.

• The practice organised and delivered services to meet patients’ needs. Patients could access care and treatment in a timely way.

The areas where Kings Heath practice should make improvements are:

• Improve training and guidance for staff to help them recognise and manage sepsis.

• Improve the uptake of patients for the national cancer screening programme.

• Improve the uptake of child immunisations.

Daniel Kane, CEO of General Practice Alliance - the group of 21 Northampton surgeries which Kings Heath Practice is part of - said: “Staff have worked hard, in conjunction with regulators to improve standards within the practice and are delighted that these improvements have been recognised.

"The improvement in rating is a positive step and we hope the practice will take a further step up to ‘good’ when next inspected, demonstrating sustained improvement built on the foundations that have been set over
the last six months.

"We will continue to embed effective systems and processes to ensure good governance, and implement further improvements highlighted within the report.”