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Old West Surgery, Gravesend, in special measures

By Ed McConnell

A GP surgery which caters for more than 10,000 people and was previously rated as good has been placed in special measures.

Old West Surgery, in Old Road West, Gravesend, was rated inadequate following an announced inspection in August.

The Care Quality Commission ranked its safety, effectiveness and leadership as inadequate — the worst rating — while its care and responsiveness to people's needs required improvement.

Old West Surgery, Gravesend
Old West Surgery, Gravesend

Old West Surgery has a practice population of 10,764 and is managed by its only permanent GO, Dr Abdul Halem, who is supported by a number of locum GPs.

Inspectors reported the practice had failed to: record, investigate and learn from significant incidents; carry out repairs, record cleaning or conduct an annual infection review; put in place arrangements for responses to emergencies and major incidents; and put in place system to ensure the safe management of medicines.

Patients flagged up issues booking appointments while there were vacant roles within the practice and the risks associated with this had not been addressed.

Ruth Rankine, deputy chief inspector of general practice, said: “It is concerning to find a surgery that was previously rated Good now in a state of decline. The provider will need to ensure that all of the risks that have been identified are addressed.

“However, in the meantime as a result of this inspection we have placed Old West Surgery into special measures and have also issued two warning notices.

“We will re-inspect the practice within six months to check whether sufficient improvements have been made. If we find that the service provided by this surgery remains inadequate, we will take further action.

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