Countless complaints about Banbury’s Horsefair Surgery posted on social media
Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (OCCG) offer the following comments on the Banbury Guardian’s special report into cancer misdiagnosis at Horsefair Surgery.
“The pressures on primary care in Banbury and the difficulties at Horsefair Surgery have been well documented over the past few years. The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has been inspecting the practice regularly as efforts have been made to improve services.
“The latest assessment by CQC was published in January 2019 when it rated the practice overall as ‘good’ with some improvements needed.
“In August 2019 Principal Medical Ltd (PML) took over the management of Horsefair Surgery and has continued to improve services. A significant improvement programme has been in place and a lot of work has been done by practice staff, supported by OCCG to improve care and patient experience at Horsefair.”
Andrew Elphick, chief executive of PML, said: “Since bringing Horsefair Surgery under PML management we have been implementing a robust action plan to drive improvements in patient experience. As an organisation run by local GPs and a longstanding provider of healthcare services in Banbury, patient care is at the centre of everything we do and we will continue to work closely with patient groups and OCCG to make further improvement.”
Louise Patten, chief executive of OCCG, said: “We are always concerned when we hear patients share their poor experience and would encourage anyone who is unhappy with their care to talk directly to their practice.
“The recent change in management at Horsefair Surgery is a really positive step. We are confident that PML’s detailed action plan is improving patient care and experience. The performance of the practice is monitored closely and the expertise of the PML clinicians and managers is making a real difference, including sharing good practice so patients benefit from the wide range of clinical skills available.”
The OCCG added: “There are many targets relating to the way cancer is treated in the NHS and data is published for every area of the country.
“Public Health England data demonstrates 57 per cent of cancer diagnoses in Oxfordshire are at an early stage, compared with 52 per cent across England. Oxfordshire sees 245 deaths per 100,000 people per year, compared with England, which sees 275 deaths per 100,000 people per year. Despite this, OCCG is not complacent and actively monitors the performance locally and fully recognises the importance of good cancer services for patients.
“We also continue to invest in improving diagnosis and treatment for cancer. For example, the SCAN pathway is making earlier diagnoses (or excluding serious disease) for people with non-specific symptoms. This results in a faster route to appropriate treatment and better outcomes for patients.
“Public Health and OCCG publicise information to support early diagnosis of cancer and would encourage all patients invited to various screening programmes to attend and to see their GP if they have any concerns.
“OCCG cannot comment on individual patients, but patients’ complaints about their treatment at GP practices are taken seriously and investigated thoroughly via a formal NHS complaints process. These investigations are carried out by the practice itself or, if the patient prefers, they can choose to go directly to NHS England.
“Patients can also contact OCCG’s patient services team who can offer advice and look into areas of concern. They act independently when handling patient and family concerns, liaising with staff, managers and relevant organisations to negotiate immediate or prompt solutions.
“OCCG says it does not have data on formal complaints about primary care. The NHS complaints process is complaints are addressed directly to the practice or to NHS England.
“The type of contract (GMS) PML holds at Horsefair means there is no end date. The contract value depends on the number of patients registered.
“Patients can register with any practice if they live within its inner boundary. All lists are open to new patients. Banbury practices encourage people to stay with their practice for continuity of care, to minimise the risk of practices closing lists to new patients and to reduce the administrative workload for practice staff.”
Horsefair Surgery was approached but has not acknowledged the emails.