Royton Medical Centre ‘requires improvement’, the CQC rules

A Royton GP surgery was told it must improve after the health watchdog found the practice breached legal standards.

Inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) strongly criticized the leadership at Royton Medical Practice in their report, saying they saw no evidence that the leadership could deliver high-quality care.

Broken down into categories, the Chapel Street practice was rated ‘needs improvement’ for safety and responsiveness, ‘good’ for effectiveness and care, and ‘poor’, the lowest possible rating, for practice leadership.

Posted last week based on an inspection in September, it was the first at the new Royton Medical Center location.

When based on Market Street, the practice previously received a ‘good’ rating in all categories.

When it came to measuring service responsiveness, the report indicated that surgery needs improvement, finding that complaints “were not used to improve quality of care,” while “patient feedback on the access were poor.

The trial comes after patients in the practice have they repeatedly told The Oldham Times that they face enormous difficulties when it comes to booking a GP appointment and some, like the vulnerable and the elderly, struggle to deal with the technology required.

The 2022 GP Patient Survey it also ranked the practice as one of the worst in the county when it came to booking an appointment.

However, safety is also a key concern in the practice serving a patient population of 5,915.

The CQC report reveals that he is “ineffective” in obtaining the Disclosure and Restriction Service (DBS) checks and that he did not follow the correct DBS process in his hiring procedure.

It also found that practice nurses are not “properly authorized” to administer medication, emergency medications are not properly controlled, and equipment provided to GPs in a box needed for their surgery was also found to be “ineffective”.

Upon further examination, the CQC found that five drug reviews had been completed without patient involvement, three of which had been coded without all repeat drugs being reviewed.

This amounted to a breach of Regulation 12(1) of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 and the Regulations 2014.

The most damning rating comes in the ‘providing well-run services’ category where the CQC rated Royton Medical Center as ‘inadequate’.

It found that leaders were unable to demonstrate that they had the ability to provide high-quality care.

The inspector witnessed several examples where policies were not followed, such as DBS checks, but also in areas such as event and complaint management.

Even the website is difficult to navigate and contained incorrect information, while details about the practice’s staff were not included, the CQC said.

In one case, a safety alert had not been triggered, meaning patients were not informed about the potential risks of taking a medicine.

This amounted to a second breach of the regulations of the Law on Health and Social Care.

However, the inspector found the surgery “good” in two areas related to effective treatment and care.

The CQC report said staff treat patients “with kindness and respect” and that patients generally receive “effective care and treatment.”

But the CQC said it needs to improve before its next inspection in six months in key areas.

This includes improving its standard of cervical screening, monitoring patient satisfaction in order to improve low scores on the GP Patient Survey, and “ensuring that care and treatment are delivered safely to patients” while “good governance” is established.

A spokesperson for Royton Medical Center said: “We welcome the findings of the Quality of Care in Practice Commission report as constructive criticism on which to build and learn.

“Furthermore, we recognize it as typical of a national GP landscape in a resource-poor, post-pandemic setting, where keeping up with changing processes has not always been easy.

“It was particularly nice for the CQC to see what we do every day: a staff that, in difficult circumstances, is friendly and professional in the care it administers with a particular concern for the vulnerable.

“Our pioneering work to ensure homeless people receive quality healthcare was cited, as was our proactive work to contact patients most in need to check on their health and well-being before potential problems escalate.

“The inspectors also noted our flexibility and availability in trying to meet the increasing demand of patients, matching appointments to windows in their busy lives.

“Constructive feedback is worthless unless acted upon, and we can assure the community that the issues raised in the CQC report have already been addressed and addressed.

“We look forward to welcoming you to the CQC in the near future so you can see the improvements we have made.

“In the meantime, regardless of the increasing pressures placed on us and the lack of resources spent on primary care, Royton Medical Center will continue to provide the robust, inclusive and, most importantly, compassionate care that CQC inspectors have celebrated.”

The full report can be read on the Care Quality Commission website.

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