A CARE watchdog says a Redcar doctor’s surgery must make further improvements to keep patients safe and “protect them from avoidable harm”.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) carried out an inspection of Coatham Surgery, part of the Coatham Health Village, after it was rated last year as requiring improvement overall and inadequate in the ‘safe’ category of care, and given a warning notice.

In its recently published report it said patients did not always receive effective care and treatment that met their needs. 

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The CQC said regulations were continuing to be breached with some patients who were being prescribed high risk medicines not having the required monitoring carried out.

And clinical records’ searches showed there were some patients with a potential missed diagnosis of diabetes.

The latest inspection, which did not include the award of a new rating, was undertaken without a site visit with evidence and information being collected remotely. 

The Northern Echo:

Surgery staff were interviewed using video conferencing and clinical searches carried out on the pratice’s patient records system.

Patient records were also reviewed to identify issues and clarify actions taken by the practice.

The report said the way practice was led and managed did not always promote the delivery of high-quality, person-centred care.

The CQC said the practice must make the following improvements that it would check at its next inspection. These were:

  • Record safeguarding alerts on the records of all family members of children with safeguarding concerns
  • Review and improve the way that national clinical guidelines are implemented and used within clinical practice.

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  • Risk assess the current seven-day target for dealing with test results, in order to assure that any abnormal test results received are acted on without unnecessary delay.

• Improve clinical coding within the practice to ensure that diagnoses are not missed, and that patients do not go unmonitored and unmanaged

  • Improve the system in place to ensure that patients with long term conditions are reviewed in a timely manner.

Dr Shawn Zaman, the lead partner at the practice, which has more than 6,000 patients, told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that the report “didn’t recognise much of the great work we have done”.

He said: “There’s very little mention of the covid-19 impact plus other pressures as well.

“This was an unrated inspection, the rating hasn’t changed from last time and was never going to change, but it helps us as part of our drive for quality improvement.”

Dr Zaman, who is also the clinical director for the Redcar coastal primary care network, which contains seven GP surgeries, described how it was proving difficult to recruit and retain GPs in the area, but nonetheless his practice was striving to be an excellent practice.

He added: “We are looking forward to the next inspection, within the next year, which should be rated.

“Our main focus is refining our approach to medication monitoring and medication safety.

“The CQC has given us a list of things to do and we are doing them.”

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