Medical practice must make safety improvements

A medical centre in Worthing has been told to improve by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) after inspectors found needles and syringes stored in unlocked cupboards.

Broadwater Medical Centre serves over 12,000 patients. Picture: Derek Martin
Broadwater Medical Centre serves over 12,000 patients. Picture: Derek Martin

Broadwater Medical Centre in Broadwater Boulevard, which serves about 12,300 patients, was given an overall rating of ‘requires improvement’ by the CQC in its recent report, following a July inspection.

The practice received ‘requires improvement’ in three of the five key areas the CQC examines: ‘Are services safe?’, ‘Are services effective?’ and ‘Are services well-led?’.

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It received ‘good’ ratings for ‘Are services caring?’ and ‘Are services responsible to people’s needs?’ categories.

Professor Steve Field, chief inspector of general practice, said in a letter in the report:

“There was an open and transparent approach to safety and an effective system in place for reporting and recording significant events.”

However, he added: “Risks to patients were not always assessed and well managed.”

CQC staff found measures were not in place to prevent theft or misuse of medicines and potentially harmful medical equipment.

While vaccines were stored in locked refridgerators and checked regularly, the refridgerators were in an open room accessible to all staff and patients and the keys were in situ.

Needles and syringes were stored in unlocked cupboards in the same room.

Inspectors raised these concerns with centre staff who responded immediately to secure the vaccines and medical equipment.

Senior GP Partner at the centre, Dr Mark Raval, said: “We acknowledge that there are action points in our CQC report and we are working very hard to make those changes and improvements.

“We have an excellent team and are committed to ensuring patients come first.”

According to the report there was limited evidence of quality improvement. The practice could only provide evidence of two clinical audits in the last two years.

Inspectors observed members of staff were courteous and helpful to patients, treating them with dignity and respect. All 29 CQC comment cards returned were positive about the service experienced.

The CQC also said facilities were good and patients could get appointments when they needed them.

However, not all clinical staff had received training on the Mental Capacity Act 2005, which they need to perform their duties appropriately.

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