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GP practice closed after CQC finds staff had no life support training

23 September 2016

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The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has closed a GP practice in south London after no evidence was found that the practice staff, including the GP, had undertaken basic life support training in the past year.

St James Church Surgery in Bermondsey, which served 1,420 patients, had its registration cancelled after the CQC deemed it to be ‘inadequate’ in July.

In addition to lacking a defibrillator and oxygen on site, staff at the practice said that there had been two instances where patients had collapsed but nobody working there had completed basic life support training in the previous year.

Staff had also not received fire safety training and the fire alarm was broken.

It was also discovered that a number of staff had no Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificates.

Shortly after the announced inspection, CQC inspectors applied to magistrates to cancel the provider’s registration on the basis that there was a “serious risk to people’s life, health or well-being”.

Systems around medicines management and treatment of patients with long term conditions or mental health concerns were also found to be ‘inadequate’.

There was no effective system on place to ensure that patients were called for reviews and treatment provided often did not reflect current best practice.

This was reflected in the practice’s poor performance in a number or clinical areas relative to other practices nationally and locally.

Ursula Gallagher, Deputy Chief Inspector of General Practice in CQC’s London region said: “Whilst we absolutely appreciate how important continuity, kindness and compassion are for patients and carers, many additional things are required to ensure that patients are actually receiving the high quality care they have a right to expect.

“Unfortunately in this case we found that many of these elements were either absent or inadequate requiring us to take the action we did.”

Patients did say they found it easy to make an appointment with a named GP and there was continuity of care with urgent appointments available the same day.

However, the practice only had a female nurse on site once a month and only provided nursing services twice a week between 9.30am and 12.30pm.

The percentage of women aged 25-64 whose notes record that a cervical screening test has been performed in the preceding 5 years was 58% compared to an average of 80% for the CCG and 81% nationally.