Northampton GP placed in special measures as CEO says inadequate inspection result 'was anticipated'

Kings Heath Practice
Kings Heath Practice

The chief executive of a Northampton GP practice has admitted a recent inadequate rating of a surgery "was anticipated".

The Care Quality Commission inspected Kings Heath Practice in May and published their report this week.

It was rated 'good' in the caring category, requires improvement in the responsive category, and inadequate in the safe, effective, well-led categories as well as overall.

"This result is disappointing, however, was anticipated," said Daniel Kane, CEO of General Practice Alliance.

"The practice is placed in ‘special measures’ and will be due another inspection imminently, the outcome of which must be to improve our overall rating to ‘good’.

"We knew when we initially took on the practice it would be challenging.

"The practice has previously failed to respond to patient needs showing poor levels of both patient and staff satisfaction, not providing adequate appointments, causing high levels of inappropriate A&E attendances, delivered poor levels of standard of care and failed to engage with other local GP surgeries, Community and Commissioners.

"Although we have received negative news, we continue to see this as a positive and constructive platform from which a solution-focused approach will be taken encompassing learning and development and opting to work with our regulators to improve the standards of the practice.

The CQC report found that appropriate recruitment checks had taken place before employing staff at the practice.

Systems to minimise risks to patient safety were not comprehensive, and there was no system in place to deal with unassigned test results.

The practice had not taken action to improve cancer screening rates and there was high clinical exception reporting in some areas.

"Although the practice took complaints and concerns seriously we found that there was a serious complaint that had not been dealt with in a timely manner," wrote the inspectors.

The CQC team did, however, praise Kings Heath staff saying they treated patients with kindness, respect and compassion.

Employees understood patients' personal, cultural, social and religious needs, and the practice gave patients timely support and information.

Mr Kane said: "We have adopted a model of improvement and will review our systems and processes, taking on the patient voice, ensuring we increase engagement and communication with the local population.

"Understanding this news will affect staff morale, we will be supporting them through the service transformation ensuring we put their personal wellbeing and resilience at the top of our agenda.

"We welcome the inspection team’s comments and observations for improvements and have instigated an action plan to achieve the required results to turn the practice around," he added.

The full report can be found on the CQC's website.