GP surgery placed in special measures as it plummets from 'good' rating to 'inadequate'

A GP practice has been told to improve after a critical inspection left it in special measures, just five years after it was rated as 'good'.

Hill Top Medical Centre has been rating as Inadequate after a CQC inspection. Photo: Google Street Map
Hill Top Medical Centre has been rating as Inadequate after a CQC inspection. Photo: Google Street Map

Hill Top Medical Centre in Oldbury has received an 'inadequate' rating from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and been placed in special measures for six months following the inspection, which was an unannounced comprehensive inspection on October 31 last year.

Inspectors found that safety alerts were not being acted on appropriately and staff had not completed training specific to their roles and warned that if the practice did not improve sufficiently, it would move to close the service.

The practice had been rated as good in its last inspection in 2018, but was rated as requiring improvement for safe, effective, and caring and inadequate for responsive and well-led.

The inspection found a safety protocol in place, but that the practice was unable to demonstrate it consistently acted on safety alerts.

Other observations from the report included staff not having appropriate immunisations and risk assessments not being carried out to identify potential risks to patients and staff.

There were also concerns raised around clinical tasks, such as staff appraisals and staff training and an inability to demonstrate that systems were in place for the clinical supervision of staff and issues caused by staff shortages.

Other concerns raised looked at lack of governance processes for overseeing systems and actions from risk assessments not being acted on, while some patients had not received the appropriate reviews to ensure effective care was provided that met their needs.

Dr Sean O’Kelly, chief inspector of Hospitals and interim chief inspector of Primary Medical Services, said he was placing the practice into special measures and detailed the reasons for doing so.

He said: "I am placing this service in special measures. Services placed in special measures will be inspected again within six months.

"If insufficient improvements have been made such that there remains a rating of inadequate for any population group, key question or overall, we will take action in line with our enforcement procedures to begin the process of preventing the provider from operating the service.

"This will lead to cancelling their registration or to varying the terms of their registration within six months if they do not improve.

"The service will be kept under review and if needed could be escalated to urgent enforcement action.

"Where necessary, another inspection will be conducted within a further six months, and if there is not enough improvement, we will move to close the service by adopting our proposal to remove this location or cancel the provider’s registration.

"Special measures will give people who use the service the reassurance that the care they get should improve."

Hill Top Medical Centre have been approached for a comment.

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