REVEALED: The catalogue of failings that closed Wainfleet Surgery

Wainfleet Surgery ANL-170119-104806001
Wainfleet Surgery ANL-170119-104806001

Shocking failings at Wainfleet Surgery that put more than 2000 patients at risk of their safety have been relealed in a report issued today.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has this morning outlined why it shut the doors on Wainfleet Surgery in November last year, leaving patients, many of them elderly, with the prospect of a 10-mile round trip by car, taxi or bus to see doctors at a practice in Skegness.

The practice did not maintain appropriate standards of cleanliness and hygiene

Professor Steve Field, the CQC’s chief inspector of General Practice

Fifteen key findings of a two-day inspection in October were outlined in the report by Professor Steve Field, the CQC’s chief inspector of General Practice

These included:

- There was no process in place to monitor temperatures at which vaccines were stored. Numerous recordings of temperatures were either above or below the minimum/maximum required temperatures.

- Medication reviews were not being carried out appropriately to ensure the safe prescribing and monitoring of continued prescribing of medicines for patients.

- Disclosure and Barring Service checks (DBS check) were not in place to identify whether a person with a criminal record or is on an official list of people barred from working in roles where they may have contact with children or adults who may be vulnerable).

- A GP partner carried out insertion of contraception implants. but did provide evidence of accredited training and was not a member of the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare.

- The practice did not maintain appropriate standards of cleanliness and hygiene. Annual infection control audits had not been undertaken and there were no action plans in place to address any improvements which may be required in relation to infection control.

- Patients were negative about their interactions with GPs during consultations and said they did not always feel listened to and were not always treated with compassion and dignity.

Professor Field said: “I am placing this service in special measures. Services placed in special measures will be inspected again within six months. If insufficient improvements have been made this will lead to cancelling their registration or to varying the terms of their registration within six months if they do not improve.”

However, less than two weeks later the surgery had its registration suspended for three months. leaving the Lincolnshire East Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to pick up the pieces and arrange temporary accommodation for patients at other practices, mainly the Hawthorn Medical Practice in Skegness.

The CQC report released today has come as no surprise to members of the Save Our Surgery - Wainfleet group. Caroline Smyth told the Standard: “Overall I think the report shows the surgery had serious failings, I wouldn’t be surprised if the lack of care has led to a risk of life on more than one occasion.

“I hope these GP’s are not allowed to work anywhere else after making so many mistakes for so long.”

In a statement on Tuesday announcing the official closure of the surgery, the CCG said: “Hawthorn Medical Practice has worked extremely hard to accommodate Wainfleet patients over the last few weeks and we are very grateful for their ongoing support, particularly given the relative lack of notice they had to prepare. We know some patients have raised concerns around telephone access to Hawthorn and we are working with the practice to improve this.

“Whilst the decision to suspend Wainfleet Surgery was not ours, we are responsible for what happens now. At our Primary Care Co-Commissioning Committee held on January 5, we reviewed a number of options relating to the future provision of GP services in Wainfleet. Our decision was, whilst it is not viable to re-open a full surgery in Wainfleet, we will work towards providing a level of primary care service in Wainfleet.”

The Standard is now awaiting responses from the CCG and the CQC on the report by Professor Field and we will bring them as we get them.