Leyton News

Third Leyton GP practice rated ‘inadequate’

Almost half of the area’s eight practices are now in special measures and risk closure if they do not improve

By Victoria Munro

Ecclesbourne Surgery (credit: Google Streetview)

A third Leyton GP practice is now in special measures after being deemed “inadequate” by the government’s Care Quality Commission.

The Ecclesbourne Practice in Lea Bridge Road treats approximately 10,000 patients in partnership with another surgery in Woodford Green and was inspected in November.

While inspector Dr Sean O’Kelly acknowledged staff had a caring attitude towards patients, he said the practice was not well-led or doing enough to ensure their safety.

In a report published last week he pointed out gaps in training – with some staff unable to perform “basic life support” or recognise the signs of sepsis – and the lack of equipment and medicines needed to respond to a medical emergency.

When asked to comment, a spokesperson from Ecclesbourne Practice said they would learn from the report but felt it “does not accurately portray the hard work that [they] put in everyday in the care of [their] patients”.

Practices placed in special measures are reinspected after six months and could face being shut down if they fail to improve. 

In his report, Dr O’Kelly wrote: “Staff were not adequately equipped to respond to medical emergencies as there was no defibrillator available. The practice [also] did not hold all the appropriate emergency medicines.

“Not all staff were able to recognise the sepsis red-flag symptoms. Staff were not up to date with basic life support and anaphylaxis training where it was relevant.

“There were no records maintained for keeping clinical equipment clean and cleaning schedules were not clearly documented. There were no sanitary bins available in some toilets.

“There were gaps in systems to review patients with long-term conditions, where they did not always operate effectively. Therefore, we found gaps in care, as not all patients were being monitored or followed up to ensure their treatment was in line with national guidance.”

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Ecclesbourne Practice is the third Leyton GP in a year to be placed in special measures, after Francis Road Medical Centre and Crawley Road Medical Centre received damning inspections last year. 

The CQC website lists eight practices in Leyton, of which the remaining five hold the second-highest possible rating of “good”. However, these ratings are all, at minimum, three and, at most, five years old. The Ecclesbourne Practice was also deemed “good” when last inspected in 2017.

When contacted by the Echo, a spokesperson for the practice said they were “in the process of studying” the report “to come up with a strong plan of action for improvement”.

They added: “We recognise the important regulatory function of the CQC and would work with them and other stakeholders to ensure that we provide care that is safe, effective and responsive.

“However, we are very disappointed by the overall rating as, in our view, it does not accurately portray the hard work that we put in everyday in the care of our patients. We are also not convinced that the evidence offered supports such a low rating.

“We are encouraged by the recognition in the report that we are a caring practice. We also take encouragement from the response of our patients in the surveys included in the report. These consistently showed a performance higher than the average for practices in the area who face challenges similar to ours.

“It is difficult to understand why the inspectors choose to use a national average to make a point about inadequate performance.”

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