Hastings GP surgery rated 'inadequate' by inspectors

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A GP surgery in Hastings has been rated ‘inadequate’ by health inspectors.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) published its report this week into Harold Road Surgery, in Harold Road, which has more than 11,500 patients.

Inspectors said they carried out an unannounced inspection following concerns reported to the CQC.

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Because of its rating of ‘inadequate’, the surgery has now been placed into special measures.

Harold Road SurgeryHarold Road Surgery
Harold Road Surgery

In his report, Dr Sean O’Kelly, chief inspector of healthcare at the CQC, said: “We found that safeguarding systems and processes did not always ensure patients were kept safe and protected from avoidable harm.

“The provider had not done all that was reasonably practicable to ensure care and treatment was provided in a safe way for service users. In particular, patients were not always monitored in line with prescribing guidelines, and actions were not always taken to ensure that patients with potential missed diagnoses were followed up or monitored appropriately.

“There was a lack of proper and safe management of medicines. In particular, processes for the disposal of pharmaceutical waste were not in line with national guidance, medicines requiring refrigeration were not always stored appropriately, we were not assured that medicines were always securely stored, with restricted access, and there was a lack of robust assessment, and provision of emergency medicines held by the practice.

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“Risks to staff, patients and visitors were not assessed, monitored or managed effectively, in particular in relation to fire safety and evacuation, legionella, premises health and safety, and preventing, detecting and controlling the spread of, infections, including those that are health care associated.”

CQC inspectors added that staff at the surgery staff ‘did not undergo formal induction or have access to regular appraisal, one-to-one support or supervision’.

The report said staff ‘did not always feel listened to or supported when reporting concerns’ and that ‘confidential waste was not always stored appropriately’.

Dr O’Kelly said: “I am placing this service into special measures. Services placed in special measures will be inspected again within six months. If insufficient improvements have been made such that there remains a rating of inadequate for any key question or overall, we will take action in line with our enforcement procedures to begin the process of preventing the provider from operating the service. This will lead to cancelling their registration or to varying the terms of their registration within six months if they do not improve.”

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A spokesperson from NHS Sussex said: “The Care Quality Commission inspection for Harold Road Surgery took place in November 2022 and the practice have already addressed many of the issues raised in the report.

“We have supported the practice with this and more recently have been supporting Harold Road Surgery and Beaconsfield Road Surgery as they prepare to merge to become a single organisation.

“The coming together of Harold Road and Beaconsfield will build on the good work already in place across the two practices and will ensure continued improvements are made; increasing the resilience of both practices. All surgeries will remain open and operational, and patients will still be able to see the same clinicians and staff as before.”

“NHS Sussex is working alongside the practices to ensure a smooth transition and support engagement with patients and communities. We expect the new organisation to be in place by October.”

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