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Sheerness Health Centre in Sheerness High Street rated ‘Requires Improvement’ by watchdog

A high-street GP surgery has been rated as “Requires Improvement” after inspectors found some patients had been given flu jabs rather than Covid vaccines.

Sheerness Health Centre, also known as Dr Patel’s Surgery, was flagged as not performing as well as it should be in three out of five categories assessed by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Sheerness Health Centre in Sheerness High Street
Sheerness Health Centre in Sheerness High Street

In the healthcare watchdog’s report, it was stated that “the practice did not always have systems for the appropriate and safe use of medicines, including medicines optimisation”.

It was also noticed that its patients’ needs were “not always assessed, and care and treatment were not delivered in line with current legislation, standards, and evidence-based guidance”.

The inspection, which happened in August, provided the practice with its first rating since it registered with the CQC in July 2020.

In the CQC’s overview of its findings, the inspector said: “The provider could not demonstrate how they assured themselves of the competence of staff employed in advanced clinical practice.

“There were clear responsibilities, roles, and systems of accountability to support good governance and management. However, improvements were required.”

Sheerness Health Centre in Sheerness High Street
Sheerness Health Centre in Sheerness High Street

The CQC found that there had been two incidents of patients being administered flu vaccines when they had attended for Covid vaccines.

The inspector explained that the practice had discussed these incidents with the individuals involved and apologised for the error.

They said: “A review of the systems and processes for coding patients correctly when booking appointments for vaccines was completed.

“A protocol was put into place to ensure that patients were asked which vaccine they expected to receive. Reminders were sent to all staff to follow these processes and protocols.”

It was also noted that on a separate occasion, the practice had identified that a pneumonia vaccine had been administered to patients in a care home setting without consent from the patient's next of kin (NOK) where appropriate.

However, following an investigation, it was discovered that the issue had stemmed from the care home.

Sheerness Health Centre in Sheerness High Street has been rated as “Requires Improvement”. Stock Image
Sheerness Health Centre in Sheerness High Street has been rated as “Requires Improvement”. Stock Image

The inspector explained: “The practice was informed by care home staff that NOK consent was provided for a Covid vaccine.

“The patient’s NOK raised this as a complaint, which was investigated as a significant event.

“Following the investigation, the practice had identified that an incorrect consent form was sent via the care home.

“The practice had subsequently implemented a policy and procedure for obtaining consent from patients in care homes and their NOK (where appropriate and legally able to or the best interest decision had been made).

“The practice had direct contact with patients and their NOK, to obtain consent via the practice and no longer accept third-party input.”

Despite these concerns, the CQC did rate the practice as “Good” for providing caring and responsive services.

The inspector said: “Staff treated patients with kindness, respect, and compassion and worked together and with other organisations to deliver effective care and treatment.

“Complaints were listened to and responded to and used to improve the quality of care and Staff helped patients to be involved in decisions about care and treatment.”

Dr Patel’s Surgery’s systems, practices, and processes to keep people safe and safeguarded from abuse were also flagged as “Requires Improvement”.

Improvements are also required to ensure an effective and standardised approach is applied to the safe care and treatment of patients' prescribed medicines. To see the full report visit https://tinyurl.com/CQCSheerness.

Dr Patel’s Surgery has been contacted for comment.

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