Inspectors find problems at Priory Avenue Surgery during unannounced visit

Posted 09/04/2018

Priory Avenue Surgery’s standards of cleanliness had got worse when inspectors made an unannounced visit in January 2018, according to the latest Quality Report published for the Caversham practice on 5 April 2018.

The surgery had also failed to improve enough to change its ‘inadequate’ rating for how ‘well-led’ it is, since a previous inspection in October 2017, according to the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

As well as checking the quality of leadership, the CQC checks whether GP surgeries are safe, caring, effective, and responsive, and can legally order improvements, or even closure of failing practices.

When CQC inspectors arrived on 23 January 2018 at Priory Avenue, they found that the patient toilet was unclean and needed to be taken out of use. Thick dust was also found in treatment and consulting rooms, which could pose an infection risk to patients. Despite raising these concerns with the surgery, cleanliness had not improved when the CQC returned two days later.

The CQC also found ‘there was a lack of effective leadership to ensure risks to patient safety was mitigated. The systems and processes in place for reviewing and actioning clinical tasks, clinical correspondence and pathology results in a timely manner were not effective. Staff reported there was a lack of onsite clinical supervision and clear guidance on what duties they were expected to perform.’

Priory Avenue has been run by OneMedicalGroup since September 2016. The same company had been running Circuit Lane Surgery in Southcote, but this contract ended on 31 March 2018, with a local practice – Western Elms Surgery, taking over its day-to-day running. No decision has yet been announced by Berkshire West Clinical Commissioning Groups – which oversees Reading GP practices – about whether Priory Avenue will also have a change in management.

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