Sunderland medical centre appeals after it is graded 'inadequate' over series of concerns over its care

A Sunderland GP surgery has launched an appeal against its inspection after a check graded it “inadequate” across the board after concerns were raised about its service.

By Fiona Thompson
Thursday, 29th July 2021, 7:56 am

Castletown Medical Centre was visited by the Care Quality Commission following a call in April, regarding "clinical presence and safety at the practice.”

It found issues with the delivery of safe, effective, responsive and well-led services, and while it was rated as good for providing caring services, the overall rating placed it into special measures – in 2016 it was rated as ‘good’.

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Castletown Medical Centre has said it has plans in place to improve following a CQC rating of "inadequate" while it was also appealing against a number of its findings.

But its GP, Dr Hesham Koriem, has appealed against the decision on “many points” and says the outcome of that is expected in coming weeks.

Among concerns raised were:

*Staff did not have systems for the appropriate and safe use of medicines or set up to learn and make improvements after errors

*Employees told the CQC staffing was in crisis, with not enough workers with clear roles, and were worried about the safety of patients and had problems accessing the electronic systems

*Patients’ needs were not being assessed, and care and treatment was not delivered in line with legislation, standards and guidance, with the practice unable to demonstrate staff had the skills, knowledge and experience to carry out their roles

*Concerns were raised the service was not responsive to the needs of patients, who were not able to access care and treatment in a timely way, while complaints were not used to improve the quality of care

*A lack of governance and assurance structures and systems which led to serious patient safety concerns, staff were not supported in their roles and there was a “blame culture”

However, it also stressed as it rated the care ‘good’: “Staff treated patients with kindness, respect and compassion.

"Feedback from patients was positive about the way staff treated people.”

A spokesperson for NHS Sunderland Clinical Commissioning Group said: "The CCG is naturally disappointed about the findings of the CQC following their inspection of Castletown Medical Practice.

"We are committed to ensuring our practices provide the highest standards of patient care, safety and quality for the people of Sunderland and we will work with the practice to resolve all of the issues raised to ensure they continuously improve their performance."

Dr Koriem said he was “disappointed” with the report and said inspectors refused to look at the plan to manage groups of patients, such as children, those with learning disabilities or mental health problems.

He also noted excellent patient satisfaction, with a survey scoring above national UK and Sunderland average areas including accessibility, disease management and cancer detection.

He said: “The drop-in services were as there was a sudden change in admin staff.

"We are proud to announce we are building a wonderful team again including new team practice pharmacist, expert health care assistants, a team of four pharmacists working toward medications safety and

reviews and a new GP to join In autumn.

“For patients’ safety during pandemic we created plan for every phone call considered urgent, managed all calls same day, no case postponed to following day and unlimited daily access to GP, creating huge pressure.

"We are all working extremely hard towards improvement, bringing a positive new focus to Castletown, working through all challenges to ensure Castletown will return to a good rating.”

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