Waltham Forest Echo

Waltham Forest Echo

Walthamstow GP in danger of closure after failing to improve

The practice was given six months to improve but remains "inadequate"

Hero for Walthamstow GP in danger of closure after failing to improve
The Firs GP in Walthamstow (credit: Google Streetview)
By Victoria Munro 22 December 2021

A Walthamstow GP is in danger of being shut down after failing to improve in six months. 

The Firs Medical Centre in Stephenson Road was placed in special measures by the CQC after a worrying inspection in May. 

Chief inspector Dr Rosie Benneyworth said the GP’s failure to act on issues raised in 2019 suggested its leaders may lack “the capacity and skills to deliver high-quality sustainable care”.

The service was re-inspected in October to see if it had been able to improve but remained “inadequate”, the CQC’s lowest possible rating.

Her report notes: “Patients’ needs were not always assessed, and care and treatment was not always delivered in line with current legislation, standards and evidence-based guidance.

“There was ineffective diagnosis, management and oversight of patients with long-term and other health conditions.

“We identified several risks to patient safety which had not been recognised by leaders or management.”

In November, a coroner said the practice had “failed” a Walthamstow woman who suffered undiagnosed cancer for months by not referring her for tests despite clear warning signs. 

Following the inspection in May, a senior partner told the Echo: “We will be looking at how we can address the points raised by the inspectors. We are fully committed to providing the highest quality of care to our patients.”

Recent requests for comment following the most recent inspection did not receive a response.