Leyton News

Struggling Leyton GP given final chance to avoid closure

If there is not enough improvement, we will move to close the service
By Victoria Munro

Crawley Road Medical Centre (credit: Google Streetview)
Crawley Road Medical Centre (credit: Google Streetview)

A Leyton GP practice urgently taken over to protect patients earlier this year has been given a final chance to improve – or risk being shut down.

In July, provider Crawley Road Medical Centre, which runs a practice of the name, was suspended for three months by the Care Quality Commission after a damning inspection.

Inspectors rated the practice “inadequate” in every possible area, noting a backlog of work so severe that one patient was not informed of worrying blood test results for five years.

However, on 31st October, the CQC agreed to lift the suspension after signs of improvement, although they warned they will still “remove this location or cancel the provider’s registration” if necessary.

In the report published this summer, chief inspector Dr Sean O’Kelly suggested the lead GP partners did not spend enough time overseeing the practice.

He noted that the CQC was unable even to establish how many patients the practice sees as they were given numbers ranging from 9,700 to 11,232.

He wrote: “In the past year, there were more than 200 outstanding documents that had not been filed. Most of the letters that required the GPs to issue prescriptions and place urgent referrals were not actioned and placed patients at imminent risk of harm.

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“We reviewed 71 patient records and found nearly all these patients had not been followed up following receipt of abnormal test results.”

The CQC received 16 complaints about the practice in the year before the June inspection and six more immediately after. 

In the report published last week, Dr O’Kelly highlighted a number of areas where he felt the provider had made genuine improvements.

These include the “management of patients who are prescribed high-risk medicines” and the “provision of appropriate information for patients relating to its complaints system”.

However, he adds: “Although some improvements had been implemented, leaders could not demonstrate that they had made improvements across all relevant areas.

“The service will remain in special measures until we have undertaken the next inspection and this will be reviewed at that time. This will be kept under review and if needed could be escalated.

“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.”

During the three-month suspension, the practice was taken over on a temporary basis by the WF Federated GP Network.

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