Boost for ‘inadequate’ Hawthorn Drive Surgery in Ipswich as inspectors say it is improving

Hawthorn Drive Surgery. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Hawthorn Drive Surgery. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Staff

An Ipswich doctors’ surgery ranked inadequate by a health watchdog in December is improving, a new report claims.

Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspectors revisited Hawthorn Drive Surgery – criticised in the earlier report for failing to act on safety assessments – in February.

Concerns raised after an unannounced inspection in December revealed non-clinical staff had been expected to clean bodily fluids without having their Hepatitis B immunity checked.

Inspectors therefore placed the surgery – which had also not carried out risk assessments for the potentially deadly form of bacteria Legionella – in special measures.

Now staff have been praised in a new report released last week for committing to addressing the above concerns.

Improvements include the introduction of a new coding system for patients’ conditions, care and treatment needs.

Multi-disciplinary meetings have also been scheduled and effective systems have been put in place for recording and reporting significant events.

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Dr Sengapalli Ravichandran, a GP at the practice, said: “In January we committed to address the issues raised by the CQC and make the necessary changes.

“It is pleasing that the hard work of our staff has been recognised and this latest CQC inspection highlights the good progress that has been made.

“During this time we have had really positive feedback from our patients, for which we are grateful, and we thank them for their support over the last few months.

“We still have further work to do and have in place a comprehensive action plan that will ensure the continued good quality, safe care for our patients.”

Further improvements still need to be made, however, according to chief inspector of general practice Professor Steve Field.

Writing in the latest report, he said surgery staff must ensure they continue to maximise the functionality of the computer system in order to run clinical searches, consistently code patient groups and produce accurate performance data.

They must also make sure annual health reviews are offered for patients with a learning disability while continuing to develop the newly formed system of governance and ensure it is effective.

The practice will remain in special measures until such improvements are made, he adds.

Click here to see the full report.