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March GP practice 'requires improvement' say inspectors

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A doctor's surgery has been found wanting after an inspection by the Care Quality Commission.

Riverside Practice in March, which looks after the health needs of almost 8,000 patients was inspected in March as part of a range of inspections of urgent and emergency care services in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, which were done to understand the experiences of both GP providers and users.

The practice, in Marylebone Road was previously inspected in December 2016 when it was rated good.

This time, the inspector found Riverside required improvement across four of the five areas including providing safe services, effective services and management.

It also found breaches of regulations on which it must act including "ensure care and treatment is provided in a safe way for service users".

It must also "Establish effective systems and processes to ensure good governance in accordance with the fundamental standards of care".

However, it was rated good when it came to caring for its patients.

The inspector's findings published late Friday explained the practice needed to improve its responsiveness because results from the National GP Patient Survey showed patients accessing the services continued to remain below local and national targets, and also because Riverside had changed the way it delivered services to meet the needs of patients during the pandemic.

Riverside needs to improve to provide safe services, said the report mainly because of the way it deals with test results, which it said were not always managed in a "timely manner".

It also said: "Systems for the appropriate and safe use of medicines required strengthening and the practice did not have a process in place to demonstrate prescribing competencies of non-medical prescribers.

However, it did learn and make improvements when things went wrong and it had met the national standards for immunising children.

When it came to effectiveness the practice did not meet the national target when it came to cervical screening, not all its patients with long-term conditions were offered a structured annual review and it did not fully have in place a system to review the competencies of all staff.

But the inspectors found the practice was good at caring for its patients as staff dealt with them with kindness and respect and involved them in decisions about their care.

Complaints were dealt with in a "timely manner" and the National GP Patient Survey results were mainly in line with national and local targets.

It was recognised the leaders and staff had a "commitment to improve" but overall the practice needs to improve the way its services are led including the way it identifies, manages and mitigates risks to patients.

Apart from acting on the breaches the practices also needs to continue to improve patient access to the service as well as evaluate systems and arrangements in place for advanced care planning, end of life care and 'do not resuscitate' decisions to ensure they are clearly documented and communicated.

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