GP surgery put pa­tients at risk

Unqualified ‘med­i­cal as­sis­tants’ gave clin­i­cal ad­vice

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - News - By Joel Lamy joel.lamy@jpress.co.uk Twit­ter: @PTJoelLamy

A GP surgery in Peter­bor­ough has been rated“in­ad­e­quate ’’ by a health watch­dog which said pa­tients has been placed at risk. Now MP Shailesh Vara has called for an in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Pa­tients were placed at risk by a GP prac­tice which has had a pi­lot model of care sus­pended by NHS Eng­land. The Care Qual­ity Com­mis­sion (CQC) has rated the Bo­tolph Bridge Com­mu­nity Health Cen­tre in Sugar Way as ‘in­ad­e­quate’ af­ter pub­lish­ing a highly crit­i­cal re­port.

The in­spec­tion was car­ried out af­ter the CQC re­ceived a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of con­cerns frompa­tients re­gard­ing ac­cess to GP sand the con­tin­u­ing care they were of­fered.

North West Cam­bridgeshire MP Shailesh Vara said: “This is com­pletely unacceptable. Pa­tients can­not bep­u­tat risk in this way and we need a thor­ough in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

“I am con­tact­ing NHS Eng­land to ask what they are do­ing about the sit­u­a­tion and also ask­ing them to un­der­take an im­me­di­ate in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the health cen­tre.

“Se­ri­ous ques­tions needto be asked and proper an­swers pro­vided. And it needs to hap­pen ur gen­tly .”

The trial model of care be­gan in Septem­ber 2015 af­ter the prac­tice had been un­able to re­cruit more per­ma­nent GPs.

It saw ‘med­i­cal as­sis­tants’ speak to pa­tients then go to a GP who would make a judge­ment based on their notes.

How­ever, 90 per cent of pa­tients did not speak to a GP, and the med­i­cal as­sis­tants gave­clin­i­cal ad­vice to pa­tients and added new med­i­ca­tions on their records with­out be­ing qual­i­fied or ap­pro­pri­ately trained to do so.

NHS Eng­land sus­pended the pi­lot model af­ter be­ing con­tacted by the CQC.

An NHS Eng­land spokes­woman said the body had not ap­proved the model.

CQC in­spec­tors made the fol­low­ing judge­ments:

“Pa­tients were at risk of harm be­cause sys­tems and pro­cesses were not in place to keep them safe.”

“Pa­tients were placed at risk be­cause there was in­suf­fi­cient clin­i­cal ca­pac­ity to en­sure key tasks were un­der­taken in a timely man­ner and by staff who had the ap­pro­pri­ate clin­i­cal skills to make safe de­ci­sions.”

“De­lays in re­view­ing and tak­ing ac­tions on test re­sults re­ceived could have put pa- tients’ health and well­be­ing at risk.”

Mem­bers of the prac­tice’s pa­tient par­tic­i­pa­tion group said that pa­tients were not sat­is­fied with the num­ber of GPsavail­able andthatthere were sig­nif­i­cant waits to get through on the tele­phone.

The prac­tice has one per­ma­nent GP for 7,000 pa­tients ac­cord­ing to the NHSweb­site.

The Peter­bor­ough Tele­graph tried three times over the phone to speak to the prac­tice man­ager.

On one oc­ca­sion, the per­son who an­swered the call said the prac­tice man­ager­had­told her: “NHS Eng­land said we can­not dis­cuss the re­port at the minute.”

An NHS Eng­land spokes­woman told the PT there was noth­ing to stop the re­port be­ing dis­cussed.

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