Series Of Care Failings Found At GP Surgery

Kent GP Surgery Found To Have 11 Major Patient Care Shortcomings

11.06.2014

A GP's surgery in Kent placed patients at "unacceptable levels of risk", an investigation has found.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspected the practice of Dr Bijan Saha in Sittingbourne and established "serious failings" amounting to 11 counts of falling short of acceptable standards.

Its published report found shortcomings included a lack of support for workers, inadequate cleanliness and infection control, poor management of medicines and neglect for the care and welfare of those who use services at the centre. 

Head of CQC's GP inspection unit for the south of England Michele Golden said: "People using this practice are currently at unacceptable levels of risk - and keeping them safe is a job for all of us."

She described the issues as "very serious" and urged anyone with an interest to read the report.

This noted failings such as a lack of criminal record bureau checks for staff whose job was to chaperone patients when intimate examinations were carried out, difficulties in booking appointments, a lack of staff training and supervision, no procedures in place to keep medicines or prescription pads stored securely and medical records that were neither accurate nor kept safe.

Among the most significant failures was a lack of maintenance for emergency equipment at the surgery, which consisted of oxygen and an automated external defibrillator (AED). The gel pads for the AED had expired in July 2012 without being replaced and neither the AED or oxygen were routinely checked.

Dr Saha and his fellow GP are still being allowed to practice, but this is allowed only under supervision as the CQC seeks to ensure action is taken across the range of issues highlighted by the report.

The CQC has an array of powers available to it when it finds a medical practice falls short of acceptable standards. These range from issuing a notice requesting improvements to stern action like suspending or cancelling a care provider's registration. It can also launch prosecutions if criminal activity is found.

If you or a loved one have received negligent medical care from your GP you could be entitled to claim compensation. Visit our GP Negligence Claims page for more information.


Expert Opinion
Following the CQC’s investigation, some alarming factors have been unearthed at this GP’s surgery in Kent. It is completely unacceptable for healthcare providers to fall so far below the expected health and safety standard – let alone for GP surgeries to have poor maintenance of emergency equipment and poor management of medication.

“The surgery not been complying with strict guidelines in terms of infection control and cleanliness – therefore potentially putting patients at serious risk.

“Patient safety must be the top priority for all care providers and urgent action is required to ensure that the failings of this surgery are addressed and ultimately never repeated again.”
Julie Lewis, Partner