Published: 00:01, 01 November 2016
A Sittingbourne doctor’s surgery serving 1,800 patients has been heavily criticised by health inspectors and put into special measures.
Dr Hendrik Beerstecher was assessed by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in March and its report was published on Thursday, October 20.
His practice, in Canterbury Road, was found by the CQC to be inadequate in the quality of care it provided for older people, those with long-term health conditions, families, children and young people, working-age people, vulnerable patients and those with mental health problems.
It also received the lowest possible ranking for providing safe and well-led services. Its effectiveness and how it responded to people’s needs both required improvement, said the report.
The one area to receive a rating of good was how caring it was.
“Two years ago, the CQC came and visited us. They didn’t have any problem with the organisation or management. No one has changed and now we are getting inadequate ratings and it does not make sense”- Dr Beerstecher
Several legal requirements were not being met, including pads on a defibrillator being out of date, in breach of safe care and treatment regulations.
If improvements are not made, the CQC says it could take “urgent enforcement action” and consider cancelling Dr Hendrik’s registration to practice.
The report warned: “Where necessary, another inspection will be conducted within a further six months, and if there is not enough improvement we will move to close the service.”
Dr Beerstecher, who has practised in Sittingbourne for 15 years, described the report as a “pack of lies” and disputed its findings.
“Two years ago, the CQC came and visited us. They didn’t have any problem with the organisation or management.
“No one has changed and now we are getting inadequate ratings and it does not make sense.”
Dr Beerstecher, who has published a list of responses to the CQC findings on the practice website, said he did not think his patients would be concerned about the report. “The patients know what service they are receiving. They’re receiving a good service.
“I don’t think any patient here will be wanting to register anywhere else. If they do, that’s fine by me.
“What they will be concerned about is the CQC saying they will close us down in six months time.”
It is not the first time Dr Beerstecher has been at loggerheads with health officials. In 2014, he says Public Health England was to close the practice but patient support saw the decision reversed.
Replacement pads for the defibrillator, he added, were already on order.