Banbury surgery in special measures as GPs plan departure

Horse Fair Surgery, Banbury. NNL-170627-162118009
Horse Fair Surgery, Banbury. NNL-170627-162118009

Banbury’s Horsefair Surgery has been placed into special measures following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission.

And the surgery is due to undergo a change of management with the pending departure of its partnership.

Doctors Jonathan Williams, Angela Alcock and Liz Dawson are due to leave the practice at the end of the week with new partners at external medical provider, Independent Medical Holdings (IMH) taking over next month.

IMH has been working with the practice since December 2016 to provide business admin support.

An inspection of the surgery was carried out by CQC in May with the standards body releasing a report of its findings this week.

The report has given the surgery an overall rating of inadequate with a rating of requires improvement for ‘are the services safe’, and inadequate for the effectiveness of services and whether they are well-led.

But the surgery received a good rating for being caring and responsive to people’s needs.

The inspectors found:

♦ Issues relating to the care and treatment of patients with long-term conditions had not been addressed since the surgery’s previous inspection;

♦ Patients’ medicine reviews were not being recorded or undertaken in line with national guidance;

♦ No risk assessment of emergency medication to make sure it was available;

♦ Reviews of patients with learning difficulties were not routinely taking place;

♦ Not enough monitoring of staff training;

♦ Governance arrangements had not improved.

But the inspectors also found patients rated the practice higher than others for standards of care and staff treated patients with kindness and respect.

It also found the practice provided responsive services including a volunteer driver service, travel vaccines, a hearing loop and good facilities.

A statement from the Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (OCCG) said the practice had faced ‘significant pressure’ over the past two years with the OCCG and the surgery working together to recruit new GPs.

Julie Dandridge, head of primary care at OCCG, said: “OCCG recognises the efforts already made to improve services at Horsefair Surgery over the last few months, and will continue to support the practice to ensure patients get safe, good quality care and to find effective and long lasting solutions to the concerns still highlighted by the CQC.

“OCCG recognises the challenges facing general practice across the country, which includes the recruitment and retention of GPs, but Horsefair Surgery has a clear vision to continue to build on work done so far to support its GPs and other staff to provide high quality patient care.

“The practice has undergone a significant period of change over the last few months and the CCG has been working with the practice to ensure that the necessary actions are taken following the CQC inspection and that there is a smooth transition when the three long standing GPS leave the practice.”

Dr Dawson, one of the three GPs leaving the practice, said they were grateful for the support from staff, patients, colleagues and OCCG.

She said: “We are immensely proud of the hard work that everyone at Horsefair Surgery has put in to ensure we continue to deliver safe and responsive care to our patients.

“We are confident that Horsefair Surgery and OCCG will continue to work hard to ensure that our patients receive the best care possible with an improved CQC rating following the next inspection. It is with great sadness that we leave but we wish everyone well for the future.”

Eric Woodhouse, chair of the Horsefair Surgery Patient Participation Group, said: “The PPG has been fully supportive of the practice and all the steps being taken to improve the quality of services to patients.

“We will continue to support all the staff and patients during the changes taking place and are confident all the points raised by the CQC inspectors will be addressed. We are planning to hold a drop-in day at the practice in August for patients to meet us and discuss the developments which are taking place.”