Ilford GP surgery with 3,000 patients rated ‘inadequate’ by health inspectors

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A doctors’ surgery in Ilford has been rated inadequate by health inspectors and placed in special measures.

The Courtland Surgery, Ilford, was rated “inadequate” by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), which found it was neither a safe nor effective service.

Inspectors found that patients were at risk of harm and there was insufficient attention given to the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults.

There were also concerns in relation to safeguarding, chaperoning, infection control, medicine management, recruitment, fire and health and safety.

Staff at the surgery, which has around 3,000 patients on its books, did not always maintain accurate, complete and up-to-date patients records, inspectors said.

In addition, blank prescription forms and pads were not kept securely and gaps were found in mandatory training for staff.

However, patients were positive about their interactions with staff and said they were treated with compassion and dignity.

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The Courtland Avenue service must now make several improvements or face action that could result in its closure.

The CQC will only close a practice if it consistently fails to improve and there are no other options.

In order to comply with regulations, the practice must ensure that the premises and equipment are safe and all risks are assessed and mitigated.

This includes undertaking risk assessments for fire and the control of substances hazardous to health.

Staff must also create a “comprehensive” process for identifying, recording, investigating and sharing learning from incidents.

They must also ensure patient information is stored securely and ensure the security of blank prescriptions forms.

Ursula Gallagher, deputy chief inspector of general practice, at CQC said the surgery will be inspected again within six months:

She said: “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.

“We were pleased, however, that patients were positive about their interactions with staff and said they were treated with compassion, dignity and respect.”

A spokeswoman from Redbridge Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) commented: ”The CQC’s report highlights a number of areas of concern and we will work closely with the practice and its staff to see how they can work to resolve the issues raised and reach the standards their patients rightly expect.

“While it is disappointing that a local GP practice has had to be placed in special measures, it is crucial that all healthcare providers are held to account for the quality of care they give.”

The surgery has been approached for comment.