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Receptionists at practice rated ‘ inadequate’ lacked sepsis training, CQC says

by Valeria Fiore
27 November 2018

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A CQC report has highlighted the lack of sepsis training for reception staff at a practice rated inadequate. 

The Matthewman Practice, based in north London and run by Dr Philip Matthewman, was rated inadequate by the CQC in a report published earlit this month, on how safe, effective and well-led it is.

However, it was rated good for being caring and responsive.

The CQC said the practice – which was also rated as requires improvement in March – did not have an effective system in place to ensure the safe management of medicines.

It added that the practice could not provide certificates to show that both clinical and non-clinical staff ‘had completed the appropriate level of safeguarding children training in accordance with their roles.’

The watchdog also drew attention to the fact that non-clinical staff had not received sepsis training.

The report said: ‘Non-clinical staff we spoke with were unable to demonstrate an understanding of what sepsis was or what was associated with symptoms of a deteriorating patient or someone that needed urgent care, for example high temperature or chest pains.’

According to the report, the lead GP told the inspectors that reception staff was not aware of how to correctly respond to symptoms associated with sepsis because ‘they are not clinical staff’.

CQC senior national GP advisor and responsible officer Nigel Sparrow wrote on the CQC’s website that it is good practice for GP practices to have measures in place to manage the risks associated with sepsis.

These include ‘conducting staff training in recognising and responding to acutely unwell or deteriorating patients who may have sepsis.’

The CQC said that ‘there is a national emphasis on sepsis at present’ but the lack of sepsis training alone does not ‘warrant an inadequate rating’ and that a number of concerns led to the rating.

A CQC spokesperson told Management in Practice that although receptionists and admin staff ‘are not expected to diagnose or manage medical conditions, they should be able to identify when somebody appears to be very unwell or when their condition appears to be changing whilst they are waiting to see the doctor, and to know what to do’.

The spokesperson added: ‘Non-clinical staff are not necessarily expected to have certificates but they may be asked on inspection what the practice policy is, what “training” they have had and what they would do.

‘The practice manager or doctor is likely to be asked about the policy, how staff have been trained and how they know that their staff know what to do.’

However, Dr Matthewman told Management in Practice that the inspectors did not accept lecture notes that staff had taken during training courses as evidence because they were not certificated.

He said the CQC told him that ‘attending a lecture does not provide evidence the appropriate topics are covered’.