Blackpool GP practice remains in 'special measures' after first visit by inspectors since 'inadequate' rating

Elizabeth Street Surgery in Blackpool
Elizabeth Street Surgery in Blackpool
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A Blackpool GP practice put into special measures when inspectors found a raft of failings this year has had its first follow-up visit.

Elizabeth Street Surgery, in Elizabeth Street, was stripped of its 'good' rating and told it was 'inadequate' following an inspection in July, yet has made a number of improvements since, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) said.

But the health industry watchdog said: "This visit does not affect the ratings, and the practice remains in special measures."

More admin staff had been brought in to "enable the safe management of patient information coming into the practice," the CQC's report said.

"All outstanding information not previously seen by a GP or entered into patient records had been assessed by the GP and dealt with appropriately."

New rules for handling communications about patient care and treatment have been brought in, all information had begun to be viewed by the GP, and a peer review of patient consultation records for all clinicians has been carried out.

A backlog of new patient records not summarised on the computer had begun to be addressed, and staff had been to an "away day" and "had experienced an improvement in morale and felt more involved in the future of the practice", the CQC added.

The surgery has around 5,615 patients, and one full-time GP, Dr Sanjeev Maharaj, who is helped by a part-time GP.

The practice also has two nurse practitioners, two practice nurses, a healthcare assistant, and a locum clinical pharmacist.

Non-medical staff include a manager who joined in April, and eight administrative and reception workers.

The report which followed July's inspection was published last week, and said the practice rated 'inadequate' in two areas: Safety, and leadership.

It was given 'requires improvement' in effectiveness, and responsiveness, and 'good' in levels of caring.

Systems in place to manage risk were not being followed, and some safety incidents "had not been acknowledged or documented", the report said.

There was "evidence some patient consultation records were not sufficient to ensure patient safe care and treatment", and "communication with staff, patients, and other services was lacking; care plans were not routinely shared for vulnerable patients".

One "area of outstanding practice" was a new app that allow patients to use their phones to access online services and give the results of self-monitored tests such as blood pressure readings.

"This had been shared with other practices and was in the process of being developed further to provide wider community use," the report said.

A spokesman for the practice said: "“Elizabeth Street Surgery has been working with Blackpool CCG through the CQC recommendations.

"We are happy to report the CQC has noted improvements on its re-visit, and the practice will continue to strive to make further improvements to meet CQC standards.”

Dr Amanda Doyle OBE, accountable Officer for Blackpool Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which is responsible for organising and paying for residents' health care, added; “NHS Blackpool CCG recognises that patients at Elizabeth Street Surgery will be very concerned by this report, and we want to reassure them that we are working to support the practice as they make improvements.

"We have already provided some training sessions which the practice have participated in and will continue to monitor the progress of the practice to ensure safe, high quality services for local patients.”