Strelley surgery patients at 'risk of harm', report finds

Strelley Health Centre Image copyright Google
Image caption At its last inspection the service was judged as "requiring improvement"

A health centre was closed after inspectors found potentially untrained staff were manning the triage system and making "inappropriate" decisions.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) shut the Strelley Health Centre, in Nottingham, in June to protect patients, saying the system could have "put patients at serious risk of harm".

It rated the practice "inadequate" in a report published this week.

Inspectors also criticised the management as "ineffective".

The practice, run by Beechdale Medical Group, which had about 4,300 patients, has been in special measures before but at its last inspection carried out in March 2018 it was judged as "requiring improvement", a better rating.

The inspection report published on Wednesday branded it as "inadequate" - the lowest possible rating - in all but one category following inspections between 14 May and 5 June this year.

Problems with the triage system - the initial assessment for patients ringing in requesting an urgent appointment - were highlighted.

The report said: "There was not always evidence that the staff completing the triage were trained and competent.

"We reviewed triage consultations and found a lack of documentation for them and we found that inappropriate decisions had been made which could have put patients at serious risk of harm."

Receptionists also did not know how to deal with "deteriorating or acutely unwell patients".

It added: "Due to ineffective management and governance of the practice there was no oversight of risk."

On top of this the report found problems with the handling of information, such as evidence of abnormal test results being recorded but the patient themselves not being told.

The health centre was also highly dependent on locum GPs and nursing staff, inspectors said, which led to confusion over responsibilities.

The practice has been contacted by the BBC for a comment. In June it issued a statement saying it was "shocked and surprised" by the closure.

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