Redbridge CCG boss: Surgery at Loxford Polyclinic would only close as last resort

Loxford Polyclinic

Loxford Polyclinic - Credit: Archant

A commissioning group has reassured patients at an under-fire surgery that it would only close as a “last resort”.

The comments from Redbridge Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)chairman Dr Anil Mehta come after the Care Quality Commission (CQC) rated The Practice Loxford at Loxford Polyclinic, Ilford Lane, Ilford, “inadequate”.

It placed the doctors’ surgery, which serves 15,000 patients, in special measures after finding services for older people and those with mental health issues were not fit for purpose.

Dr Mehta said: “We would like to make clear to people who use The Practice Loxford, that while the CQC does have powers to close a GP practice, this is a last resort.

“The inspections are meant to show where improvements are needed, and give practices a fair opportunity to change. The CQC will only close a practice if it consistently fails to improve and there are no other options.”

The CQC report highlighted the surgery’s “consistently below average” patient satisfaction scores for care and patient involvement and issues with its appointment booking system.

“Redbridge CCG will work closely with any practice that is struggling, to help it raise its standards,” said Dr Mehta.

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“For example by helping it find training for staff or bid for funding to improve its premises. In more extreme circumstances, we have the power to give notice on a GP’s contract and bring in new doctors to run a practice.

“We will monitor this practice monthly to be sure its improvement plan is on track. We are committed to ensuring every person in Redbridge has fair access to a good quality, local, family doctor, and we would like to reassure patients that the local NHS will do everything in our power to safeguard GP services for the people of Loxford.”