Ilford GP practice rated Inadequate says rating is wrong and unfair

Dr Devindranauth Sawh, one of three GPs at the practice, said the report published on April 20 was '

Dr Devindranauth Sawh, one of three GPs at the practice, said the report published on April 20 was 'totally wrong'. Picture: PA Images / Anthony Devlin - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

An Ilford GP whose practice was put into special measures said it received an Inadequate rating only because he refused to co-operate with an inspection while moving buildings.

Eastern Avenue Medical Centre, Cranbrook Road, was rated Requires Improvement last year but Inadequate after an inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in February.

Dr Devindranauth Sawh, one of three GPs at the practice, said the report published on April 20 was “totally wrong”.

The practice moved from Eastern Avenue due to problems with the old building at the end of last year and he claimed the new practice still did not have hot water nor a working alarm system when inspected.

He said: “I felt it was unfair and robotic for them not to understand our circumstances, I do not think it was the right time.

“All our admin staff were busy doing the handover, it was lots of work to move with 7,000 patients.

“The practice manager had resigned, so how can you do a good assessment when the lead GP and the practice manager are not there?

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“There was no time in any of my previous inspections over the years that clinical care of patients was compromised or at risk. It was always managerial or protocol issues.

“If you look at patient satisfaction across the board, you will see my patients are happy. I am proud to say we do not have a shortfall in quality of care.

“If they were to come back and inspect us and understand our circumstances, we would be in a better position to tick whatever boxes they want to tick.”

The practice was moved to its current temporary location in Cranbrook Avenue after Dr Sawh asked the CCG to fix problems in the old building, such as issues with the fire exits.

The report notes they were moved at the end of the tenancy “towards the end of December 2019”.

In the report, the practice was rated as Requires Improvement for effectiveness, caring and responsiveness but Inadequate when it came to safety and leadership.

It notes: “We received an email from the senior GP partner three days prior to our inspection informing us the practice manager had resigned a couple of weeks prior.

“There was no effective cover for the practice manager who had resigned from the practice. The inspection team were told differing accounts of when the former practice manager had officially left which ranged from two to seven weeks prior to our inspection.

“We were informed the practice was in the process of recruitment for the vacated role but were given no dates regarding this process.”

Regarding the recent move, the inspector adds: “The inspection team was aware that our inspection came seven weeks after the practice relocated and that not all systems would be functioning to maximum capacity.

“With the practice’s prior knowledge of the move, we found on the shared drive that policies and procedures had not been updated recently and documentation still referred to the practice at its previous address.”

However, the report raises concerns that staff could “could not tell us the process for informing Public Health England regarding the reporting of a suspected notifiable disease” or about the practice’s waste management.

Of the non-clinical staff, only one was able to “identify the signs and symptoms of possible sepsis”.

The report also notes inspectors found around 350 blood test results from the week before that had still not been looked at.

The CQC website adds that a review of quality at the surgery is being carried out and will be published when complete.