Express & Star

Three GPs suspended from Black Country medical centre 'to safeguard patient safety'

Three Black Country GPs have been suspended for six months to "safeguard the welfare of patients".

Last updated

Patients at Great Barr Medical Centre, Queslett Road, were sent a letter explaining why the Care Quality Commission had suspended the three GPs for six months.

Mr Sarb Basi, director of primary care at the Black Country Integrated Care Board (ICB), said in the letter: "The reason for the letter is to update you on the arrangements which Black Country Integrated Care Board (ICB) has put in place, to guarantee your ongoing access to local GP services following a recent Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection at Great Barr Medical Centre.

"The CQC served a Section 31 suspension notice on the Great Barr Medical Centre on May 3. That notice means that the GP partners cannot provide services at the practice for six months. The reason for the suspension is to safeguard the safety and welfare of patients whilst improvements are made to the practice.

"This letter confirms the arrangements we have now put in place to ensure your ongoing care and how you will be able to get a routine or urgent appointment with a doctor or nurse should you need one from this point onwards."

The Black Country ICB has agreed a caretaking contract for Great Barr Medical Centre so an experienced team of clinical and non-clinical staff from Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust will be working alongside the existing practice staff to provide support.

Mr Basi added: "The current GP partners will not be able to provide clinical care during this period at Great Barr Medical Centre, however, they are working with the ICB and CQC to ensure improvements are made to the practice. As a patient, you will continue to access services in the same way you have in the past.

"The arrangements we have put in place will provide Great Barr Medical Centre with the additional resources it needs to ensure patients receive good quality care. We will keep these new arrangements for your care under review and make sure you have access to the best possible GP services in the long term."

Dr Mona Sidhu, medical director of primary care for the NHS Black Country Integrated Care Board, said: “We have been working closely with the CQC following concerns raised about the quality of care at Great Barr Medical Centre. We support the decision to suspend the contract with the existing GP partners whilst improvements are made.

“Patient safety and welfare is our top priority and we are working hard to ensure patients continue to have access to primary care services. Any patients who are registered at Great Barr Medical Centre will continue to access services in the same way, but they will be seen at the site by other GPs who we have bought in to caretake this contract. "

Great Barr Medical Centre was opened in October 2016, at the cost of £4 million, after the merger of two surgeries on Moreton Avenue and Walsall Road.