The first full set of results from a new system of checks on GP surgeries which started to be introduced across the NHS three years ago has found that one in three GP surgeries were putting patients at risk due to a severe safety problem. In total, 33 percent of practices were found to be “inadequate” or “requires improvement” for safety.
After interventions by CQC, which have seen the closure of more than 100 practices, 15 percent of surgeries are still unsafe, despite being issued with warnings, the report shows.
The surgeries, which cover more than six million patients, were found to be putting patients at immediate risk by not having up-to-date medicines to hand, including those used in emergencies. In other cases, “large backlogs” of medical correspondence, including test results and hospital reports had not been followed up for weeks. Some of the worst cases involved referral letters for patients with suspected cancer, which should have been sent to specialists for urgent checks, the report said.
Prof Field, CQC chief inspector of general practice, said some of the worst failings occurred, when smaller surgeries became “isolated” making them more likely to fail to keep up with modern practice. The CQC report found that overall, practices which were rating outstanding, had an average list size of 10,126 while those ranked inadequate had an average size of 5,770.
Fahmidah Khalil, Solicitor from Medical Accident Group said “We are very concerned by the large number of patients who appear to be receiving substandard and potentially life-threatening treatment. When patients visit their GP they trust the advice and care that they are given and rely on receiving a safe and effective service which is able to either effectively deal with their health concerns or promptly and effectively refer them on. It is disturbing that there appears to be such a large number of GP surgeries who put the health and lives of their patients at risk.”
As an experienced local firm, we have managed to secure an award of compensation for many clients who have experienced negligent medical treatment. If you have suffered from poor treatment, Medical Accident Group can help. We have a team of dedicated clinical negligence solicitors, with over 30 years’ experience, who will guide you through the process of making a claim. If you believe you have a claim, call the team now on 0800 050 1668.