The best and worst rated GP surgeries in Merseyside have been revealed, according to the independent regulator of health care in the UK.
The Care Quality Commission inspects all GP surgeries across the country and their publicly available website has shown what are the best and worst rated surgeries in Merseyside.
The surgeries are rated on five key factors — safety, effectiveness, how caring they are, responsiveness and leadership.
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11 surgeries were currently not rated as they have not been inspected yet.
There are only five surgeries in the whole of Merseyside who have currently been awarded an 'Outstanding' rating.
These surgeries are:
But at the other end of the scale, there is one surgery which was most recently rated as 'Inadequate.'
Four Acre Health Centre in St Helens was given the worst possible rating in three key areas — its safety, how effective the service was and how well led they were.
Key reasons for their rating included problems with medicine management and blood tests.
The report said: "Medicine reviews did not contain relevant information and required blood tests for some patients were overdue.”
It later continued: “Non-clinical staff did not have the appropriate safeguarding training.
“Blank prescriptions were not kept secure.
“The provider did not have effective governance systems and processes for the practice, including assurance, auditing of systems or processes and monitoring and mitigating any risks relating to the health and safety of the services provided.”
At the time of the inspection, a spokesperson for Four Acre Health Centre said: “The practice has already addressed immediate concerns and has now developed an action plan which demonstrates clear milestones to improve the overall rating going forward and the CCG [Clinical Commissioning Group] is now working closely with the practice to ensure the recommended areas of development are addressed.
“This action plan will be monitored regularly over the next few weeks to ensure it is followed and milestones achieved. The rating for the practice will remain in place until the CQC re-inspect.
“While the inspection rating is disappointing and understandably worrying for patients, the CQC did find areas of good practice in the population groups, including the practice receiving a Gold Award last year for care provided to people with learning difficulties by the CCG, through offering appointments and reviews.
“It was highlighted that staff had the skills, knowledge and experience to deliver effective care, support and treatment.
“The practice had also worked with local practices to deliver the Covid-19 vaccinations for their patients.”
While not being awarded the worst rating possible, there are also three surgeries who are currently listed as 'Requires Improvement.'
Bousfield Health Centre in Liverpool was previously rated as 'Requires Improvement' in 2019.
Their report said: "The systems for the management of medicines were not robust.
"The systems and processes in place to monitor and action safeguarding concerns were not robust.
"The recruitment systems did not effectively check the qualifications and skills of locum clinicians."
The provider of Bousfield Health Centre has recently changed however, with a new service being registered on March 26 2021.
Cornerstone Surgery in St Helens was rated 'Requires Improvement' due to issues with safety, effectiveness and leadership.
"The provider could not provide checks of emergency equipment and medication to ensure it was safe.
"Performance data relating to childhood immunisations and cervical screening continued to be below the minimum target rates and the number of patients excluded from reviews and medical checks for long-term conditions was above the national average.
"Improvements were needed to monitoring patients with possible long-term conditions.
"A system of audit had recently been introduced but this was not embedded.
"Better oversight of training was needed to ensure updates where completed."
The ECHO approached Cornerstone Surgery for a comment but had no response at the time of writing.
Windermere Medical Centre in St Helens last had an inspection in February 2019.
The CQC found that all key areas apart from how caring the staff were required improvement.
The report said the areas that the medical centre must make improvements were:
"Ensure care and treatment is provided in a safe way to patients.
"Ensure that care and treatment of patients is only provided with the consent of the relevant person.
Ensure care and treatment is provided in a safe way to patients.
"Ensure patients are protected from abuse and improper treatment.
"Ensure that any complaint received is investigated and proportionate action is taken in response to any failure identified by the complaint or investigation.
"Establish effective systems and processes to ensure good governance in accordance with the fundamental standards of care."
The ECHO contacted Windermere Medical Centre but had no response at the time of writing.
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