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Milton Regis patients at Lakeside Medical Centre 'at risk' as serious failings revealed in Care Quality Commission inspection

By Andy Gray

Patients at a doctor's surgery are at "unacceptable levels of risk", according to a health watchdog report today.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is taking action against Dr Bijan Saha after finding serious failings at Lakeside Medical Centre in Milton Regis.

An unannounced inspection was carried out in March over concerns about the safety and quality of care provided at the surgery, in Todd Crescent.

Lakeside Medical Centre in Milton Regis
Lakeside Medical Centre in Milton Regis

It found Dr Saha was failing to meet all 11 standards checked.

Michele Golden, CQC head of GP inspection, said: "The issues we have identified at Dr Saha's practice are very serious, and we'd urge anyone who uses it to read our full report."

Failings recorded by the commission included complaints by patients that reception staff were sometimes called into consultations to talk to the doctor "in a way which did not maintain confidentiality".

It also noted a complaint that Dr Saha had reportedly taken a mobile phone call from another patient during their consultation.

"The issues we have identified at Dr Saha's practice are very serious, and we'd urge anyone who uses it to read our full report..." - Michele Golden, CQC

Practice staff confirmed a number of complaints of a similar nature had been made.

Booking appointments was said to be difficult and - once a consultation had taken place - it was not clear from records if it had been face-to-face or over the phone.

This meant it was not possible to ensure people had been properly assessed and "placed people at risk of unsafe treatment or care", the report said.

It also recorded medicines were not handled appropriately or stored correctly, with inspectors noting medication prescribed for one patient was being used for general administration to others.

"No records were in place to show who this medication had been given to," the report said.

Ms Golden added they had shared their information with other health bodies – including the local clinical commissioning group – and will report further on the action it is taking "in due course".

Among the report's other findings:

  • Staff who chaperoned people during intimate procedures did not have criminal records checks
  • Staff were not trained in child or adult safeguarding procedures, and there were no policies in place if a suspicion of abuse arose
  • Some areas of the practice were dirty and cluttered. Inspectors noted all the waiting room chairs were badly stained with an unknown substance
  • The waiting area was generally cluttered, and the main treatment room and provider’s consultation room were generally untidy.
  • The level of clutter in some areas made it difficult for the practice to be cleaned to the standard required
  • Recruitment procedures were "ineffective", as staff had insufficient knowledge, experience, qualifications and skills to perform their roles
  • Staff were not properly trained, supervised and appraised
  • Medical records were not accurate or fit for purpose or held securely

The surgery was contacted numerous times, but Dr Saha failed to respond to requests for comment.

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