Dr Amer Ghazi addresses a recent packed meeting at Birchington Village Centre to discuss concerns about Birchington Medical Centre.
Troubled Birchington Medical Centre has been found by the Care Quality Commission to be adequate in some respects but failing in others.
The findings follow an announced CQC visit in August and are newly published in a report.
Inspectors found that although BMC met some standards, it was inadequate in its staffing and management.
On the day of the visit, they found BMC’s treatment and care of patients to be satisfactory.
CQC inspectors spoke to nine patients during the inspection and received some positive feedback.
They reported that one person said: “The doctors are caring; I have always found that the staff are nice, polite and friendly.” Others had said that they were satisfied and felt involved with the care and treatment they had received and that they were dealt with appropriately.
But the report continued: “However, people told us they felt they had to wait too long for a routine appointment but told us they would be seen on the day if they had an urgent medical issue. Although we found the location to be clean, tidy with good infection control practices taking place, we found no evidence that adequate processes, such as audits and reviews were taking place. Processes around recruiting and monitoring staff were not robust. Personnel records were incomplete and there were no suitable arrangements in place to review knowledge and skills. “The provider did not have an effective system in place for monitoring the quality of the service or to seek the views of people using the service. Although there were complaints procedures in place we found that complaints were not dealt with appropriately.”
The packed hall at the recent meeting to discuss concerns about Birchington Medical Centre.
The report’s publication followed a recent heated and packed public meeting, focusing on ongoing concerns about BMC. More than 400 people attended Birchington Village Centre which has capacity for 200. About 50 had to listen via loudspeakers in the car park.
The meeting was called after the presentation of a petition with 1,300 signatures to NHS England, raising concerns about the practice, and a meeting by campaigners with NHS England.
Main issues included telephone lines, the amount of time people had to wait for appointments and concern about the recruitment of GPs - three doctors will have left the six GP practice by Christmas.
Campaigner Suzanne Brim said: “I feel that questioning nine patients out of 10,000 was ridiculous especially as the practice knew the CQC were visiting to inspect that day and made sure that they had every member of staff in that day, so if the CQC asked the patients that were being seen that day on their thoughts and opinions about the service they received, it would be biased.”
She said BMC had been served with remedial notices by NHS England for being in breach of their contract and that the organisation’s investigations were continuing.
Parish councillor Bill Furness said he had read the report and met BMC’s management team, staff and doctors, finding them “very professional, experienced and fully qualified to be able to deal with any shortcomings listed within this report.”
He hoped that “with their combined robust action”, they could deal with problems and return the centre to achieving very high standards.
Another public meeting was planned for March 2014. The full CQC report can be read online at www.cqc.org.uk