‘A matter of extreme concern’: Urgent care centre at King George Hospital in Goodmayes placed in special measures after inspection

The urgent care centre is at King George Hospital, Goodmayes. Picture: PA Wire/Press Association Im

The urgent care centre is at King George Hospital, Goodmayes. Picture: PA Wire/Press Association Images - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

An urgent care centre in Goodmayes has been placed in special measures and rated Inadequate after inspectors found a number of “extremely concerning” safety issues.

King George’s Emergency Urgent Care Centre (EUCC) was inspected on April 5 by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Today (Wednesday, August 22), the CQC released its report on the centre and confirmed it had been rated Inadequate for being safe and well-led and was being placed in special measures.

It was rated Requires Improvement for being effective and caring and Good for being responsive.

The independently run EUCC is based at King George Hospital in Barley Lane, part of Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT).

The service is delivered by the Partnership of East London Cooperatives (PELC) and BHRUT is not responsible for the healthcare provided from the site, despite being its landlord.

Inspectors found the EUCC’s clinical streaming process, where patients are initially assessed by a nurse or ‘streamed’ did not safely assess, monitor or manage risks to patients.

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Of particular concern was that none of the initial checks, nor any of the forms that needed to be filled out, included establishing whether or not the patient was suffering from sepsis.

Another worry was that emergency medicines, whilst stored securely, were placed with regular medicines, which may make accessing them quickly in the event of an emergency difficult.

Inspectors were also concerned that the rooms in which these intial checks took place had a shortage of blood pressure monitors or child oxygen saturation probes.

Professor Ursula Gallagher, CQC deputy chief inspector of GP practices, said: “It is a matter of extreme concern that an urgent care centre should be rated as Inadequate and placed in special measures.

“I can’t emphasise enough the importance of triage and assessment at all times in urgent care and our expectation that this will be delivered.

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

Inspectors did point out however that BHRUT, as landlords of the site, regularly checked the safety and maintenance of the EUCC’s equipment.

Dr Shazia Mariam, PELC’s medical director, admitted the company was disappointed with the results of the inspection, but pointed out that number of areas had also been completed, including the centre’s infection control and clinical audit protocols.

She added: “As an organisation, patient safety and quality of care remain our top priorities, and we are taking the report very seriously.

“While we know that we have more to do, we are making good progress.

“We have already made significant changes, including improving our medicines management system, engaging clinicians to be more active in clinical audits and taking steps to make sure that patients are streamed appropriately and safely by live feedback, audits and joint clinical pathway development with Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge University Hospital Trust (BHRUT).

“There is now also a new front door to the EUCC, designed to address the privacy issues identified, and we have introduced a new model for shared learning to all clinical areas, as well as working to improve staff awareness and training around incident reporting.

“We will continue to work with the CQC and with our local partners, including commissioners and the trust, to ensure that the quality of care continues to improve for all our patients.

“This is a disappointing and an unexpected outcome but having being placed into special measures, we will now draw on the additional support available to drive further improvements and make change happen.”