Under-fire Loxford Polyclinic surgery could face closure

The Practice Loxford at Loxford Polyclinic, Ilford Lane, Ilford, was rated “inadequate” by the CQC o

The Practice Loxford at Loxford Polyclinic, Ilford Lane, Ilford, was rated inadequate by the CQC on its latest inspection. Picture: Google Street View - Credit: Archant

A doctors’ surgery serving 15,000 patients is under threat of closure after being placed in special measures.

The Care Quality Commission rated The Practice Loxford at Loxford Polyclinic, Ilford Lane, Ilford, “inadequate” after finding services for older people and those with mental health issues were not fit for purpose.

During an inspection, it found the practice did not have systems in place to manage “key risks” – for example, in relation to repeat prescribing.

The report also highlighted the surgery’s “consistently below average” patient satisfaction scores for care and patient involvement, despite it being rated “good” for providing effective services.

The practice’s appointments system was also an issue for inspectors, who spoke to patients who had to queue before 8am to make an appointment because of difficulties getting through on the phone.

The last patient satisfaction survey found just 13 per cent of users found it easy to get through. Only 29pc were seen within 15 minutes of their appointment time and only 38pc would recommend the surgery to others.

In the report, chief inspector Prof Steve Field said: “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.”

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Ilford South MP Mike Gapes said he had been concerned about the practice for a long time and welcomed the news.

“I hope NHS England and our CCG will ensure my constituents get the services that they are entitled to,” he said. “The situation has got a lot worse in the last two years and Loxford is a particularly bad example of that.”

A Redbridge Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) spokeswoman said: “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.”

The Practice Surgeries Ltd, which runs the surgery, said it was “disappointed” with the report and appealed it to no avail.

A spokesman said: “We have had ongoing dialogue with the CCG and NHS England for a number of years regarding areas highlighted in this report that our not within our remit to change, such as surgery telephone access and shared facilities within the building.

“We understand that following this a new telephone system will be implemented in the building within the next month.”