Peterborough: GP Surgery One Of Ten Subject To Enforcement Action

12 December 2013, 14:05 | Updated: 12 December 2013, 14:34

A Peterborough surgery is one of ten nationally to have faced sanctions from the health regulator.

Care Quality Commission Inspectors said the 63 Lincoln Road Surgery in Peterborough was ''visibly dusty, poorly maintained and there were inadequate systems in place to prevent and control the spread of infections''.

The CQC added: "During our discussions with staff we found that fire safety procedures were not in place. 

There were no risk assessments and staff were not familiar with the fire alarm system.''

Inspectors said that in the main treatment room, where minor surgical procedures were performed, they found "dusty fixtures and fittings which included an examination light and a wall-mounted fan. 

The floor underneath the couch had not been cleaned properly and dirt and debris was visible.'

Reuseable instruments were not stored properly.''

Response From 63 Lincoln Road Surgery

Doctor Richard Trounce, on behalf of the practice, said: ''We had anticipated some of the CQC findings.

This building is over 100 years old and we do not believe it is really appropriate for 21st Century healthcare. 

Since the inspection we have had two deep cleans at the Surgery.

We are also in the process of changing our cleaning contractor (the new one starts on the 2nd of January 2014) and we have allocated them more hours to clean the buildings. 

The infection control criticism related to policies and paperwork.

We have brought all our infection control and health and safety policies and associated paperwork up to date.

We would like to stress that there have been no critical incidents here relating to infection control and we are taking all the CQC's comments very seriously. 

As far as New Premises are concerned we have been trying to get support from the NHS for over 10 years to move. 

Local residents will remember the City wide consultation process on healthcare carried out by the PCT a couple of years ago. 

This confirmed our need and identified funding that would be earmarked for a new building.

We have been worked with developers and architects and have identified an appropriate site, drawn up detailed plans, obtained full planning permission and await final sign off from NHS England so that the project can commence. 

We expect to move into this new building in the Spring of 2015. 

The Surgery has a meeting arranged next month (January 2014) with NHS England at which we hope the project will receive their formal sign off.

National Surgery Inspections

Peterborough's Lincoln Road Surgery was one of 1,000 surgeries visited by inspectors.

At some other practices, medicines were found to be stored in a way that puts children and patients at risk of infection and rooms so dirty they had maggots.

While many people received an excellent service, a third of surgeries nationally (34%) failed to meet at least one of the required standards on good practice and protecting patients.

In nine practices "there were very serious failings that could potentially affect thousands of people'', the CQC said, and in 90 practices follow-up inspections had to be ordered to ensure improvements were made.

Some GPs left private medical files laying around, had medicines that were out of date, filthy treatment rooms and employed staff who had not undergone criminal record checks.

In one of the better-performing practices, inspectors found maggots and dirty conditions, while in another consulting rooms had no doors and people could hear what was being said to the GP.

In some surgeries, emergency drugs were out of date and fridges were not always checked to ensure they were at the right temperature.

The CQC said this puts children in particular at risk because failure to store vaccines at the right temperature can reduce their effectiveness, leading to an outbreak of a contagious childhood disease such as measles.

The reports come as Professor Steve Field, the CQC's new chief inspector of general practice, set out his new approach for the inspection and regulation of GPs and GP out-of-hours services.

"We found some surgeries where there were out of date vaccines in the fridge,'' he said, adding that people who wrongly think they are immune could become "very, very poorly and then die''.

He said a woman who thought she was immune to German measles due to vaccination could potentially give birth to a deaf and blind baby.

"You are talking about problems which can damage this generation and the next generation,'' he said.

Prof Field said patients across the board had difficulties getting appointments.