Four health centres run by the same company have been told they require improvement by Government inspectors.
The minor injury units at Bunny Hill in Sunderland and Washington, the urgent care centre within the Leechmere Centre in Claymere Road and Houghton Primary Care Centre have all been given the grading by the Care Quality Commission.
They were told they need to take action in the areas of safety, effectiveness and their leadership, but were each graded as good in the sections of the checks which looked at how caring the services are and how responsive they are to people’s needs.
The services are run by Northern Doctors’ Urgent Care (NDUC), which provides urgent care on behalf of Vocare, and are commissioned by Sunderland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
Marie Field, regional director of NDUC, said: “Every area for improvement that was highlighted to us by the CQC has been addressed with a clear plan of action.
“In most cases new systems, processes and procedures have already been introduced with the final few measures coming online imminently.
We will continue to work proactively with our local commissioners to ensure that high levels of continuous improvement are maintained.Marie Field
“Specifically, we have introduced a new staff training and recording system and have increased the level and quality of staff training.
“We have created a new department for quality, compliance and assurance led by a newly created role of Director of Quality and Nursing. We have also established regional quality and assurance leads and groups both regionally and centrally to strengthen our governance structures.
“We are confident that we have addressed all concerns raised and that patient safety has not been compromised.
“We will continue to work proactively with our local commissioners to ensure that high levels of continuous improvement are maintained.”
David Gallagher, chief officer at Sunderland CCG, said: “We are aware that the inspectors have highlighted a number of concerns regarding the urgent care centres in Houghton, Bunny Hill and Washington, and also the GP out of hours service at the Leechmere Centre.
“The concerns have been raised around such areas as leadership and staff training. More positively, it was noted that patients are being seen in a timely manner, and are treated with dignity and compassion.
“We are working with the service provider to help them tackle the issues that have been raised and to make the necessary improvements.”
The Washington, Houghton and Bunny Hill centres were been told to make sure all staff receive the training needed for their role, highlighting children’s safeguarding and the Mental Capacity Act, as well as support, regular supervision and appraisals.
The report states it should ensure recruitment processes are safe, with action taken to address gaps in training, continue to improve it reviews, monitors and deploys the number and mix of staff needed to meet patients’ needed to be in a safe environment for them and staff.
They have also been also told it needs to carry out fire evacuation drills and review how they assess patients’ needs when they turn up in person to make an appointment so the risks to them are checked and well-managed.
The Leechmere Centre has been told it must ensure staff are trained for their job, as with the minor injuries units with children’s safeguarding, as well as basic life support and infection control.
It too has been told to improve its recruitment processes and work on areas of concern including monitoring and recording of staff requirements.
It should also continue to find ways to improve performance on face-to-face consultations.