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Church Hill surgery, Pulham Market, given six months to improve or face closure

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A Pulham Market GP has been given six months to improve its services or risk being shut down.

Church Hill Surgery has been placed under special measures after a report highlighted a multitude of safety issues.

Following an inspection in July, the Care Quality Commission, which regulates and inspects health and social care services in England, concluded that the safety, effectiveness and leadership at Church Hill were all inadequate.

Church Hill Surgery, in Pulham Market. Picture by Mecha Morton.
Church Hill Surgery, in Pulham Market. Picture by Mecha Morton.

In a recently published report, it said that the practice did not have checks in place to ensure staff were recruited safely, was not prescribing medicines safely, and had not ensured all staff had vaccinations in line with current Public Health England guidance, amongst a host of other safety issues.

Inspectors found treatment at the surgery was not always delivered in line with current legislation, while there were particular failings in monitoring or treating patients with a potential diagnosis of diabetes and chronic kidney disease.

The report said: “The practice failed to ensure patients’ needs were adequately assessed. Care and treatment was not always delivered in line with current legislation, standards and evidence-based guidelines.

“The practice did not operate effective systems and processes to ensure good governance in accordance with the fundamental standards of care.

“We found a lack of clinical oversight was in place from the provider to fully support staff to deliver safe care and treatment to patients.”

As a result of the report, the surgery has now been placed under special measures, meaning that it will be inspected again within six months. If by next spring the surgery has not improved, it risks having its licence revoked.

Dr Rosie Benneyworth, chief inspector of primary medical services and integrated care, who led the inspection, said: “The service will be kept under review and, if needed, could be escalated to urgent enforcement action.

“Where necessary, another inspection will be conducted within a further six months and, if there is not enough improvement, we will move to close the service by adopting our proposal to remove this location or cancel the provider’s registration.

“Special measures will give people who use the service the reassurance that the care they get should improve.

“As a result of the findings from our focused inspection, as to non-compliance, but more seriously the risk to service users’ life, health and wellbeing, the commission decided to issue an urgent notice of decision to impose conditions on the provider’s CQC registration.”

At its last inspection in 2017, the practice was rated as good overall.

A spokesman on behalf of Church Hill gave assurance that they were working to improve the practice.

They said: “Obviously we are disappointed to have been given an inadequate rating.

“We are working closely with the Care Quality Commission and NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group to make the required improvements as soon as possible.”

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