Two Mole Valley GP surgeries given lowest rating in Care Quality Commission report

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The Riverbank Surgery in Westcott and Fairfield Medical Centre in Bookham were rated band “one” – the lowest of six – meaning they are a top priority for inspection.

By Dorking Advertiser  |  Posted: November 28, 2014

By Michael Davies michael.davies@dorkingadvertiser.co.uk

RATINGS: Westcott's surgery has ranked poorly in a CQC report

RATINGS: Westcott’s surgery has ranked poorly in a CQC report

Two Mole Valley GP surgeries given lowest rating in Care Quality Commission report a national health watchdog.

Health regulator the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has issued a report highlighting which practices should be prioritised for inspection based on how they perform in certain key areas.

The CQC report found elevated risks in two areas at Riverbank, both around antibiotic prescriptions.

It also found risks in four other areas, including the number of ibuprofen and naproxen items prescribed as a percentage of non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs, and the number of patients who said they always, or almost always, saw their preferred GP.

When contacted by the Advertiser for a comment on its CQC rating, the surgery responded only to say “no comment”.

In a statement issued as part of the report, the CQC said the information was not a “judgement” on GPs but was a profile that helped it make decisions about inspections.

Fairfield Medical Centre in Lower Road, Bookham was also rated as band one. But Dr Jeremy Stephenson, a senior partner at Fairfield, said the report did not represent what was happening at the surgery and was not based on the most recent information.

“The reason we’re rated ‘one’ is we haven’t been visited yet,” he told the Advertiser. “It’s not because of risk, that’s just part of it. Once we have been visited we’ll go to a band ‘four’ based on what’s been going on nationally.

“There are a couple of other things. The stats are based on information from March this year so it isn’t current. We have moved on a lot from March and we are obviously working hard to get where we need to be for the CQC.”

The “Intelligence Monitoring” report examines 38 indicators covering how GP surgeries deal with the areas of effectiveness, responsiveness and caring.

It found risk factors at Fairfield in four areas including the percentage of positive answers from patients trying to contact their GP and opening hours, as well as patients’ involvement in care decisions. It also found elevated risks in patient participation when a surgery visit involved seeing the nurse.

But Dr Stephenson said: “It is very subjective. We hit our higher targets based on medical measures. We have to take into consideration that the ‘one’ is because we haven’t been visited.

“My staff work extremely hard under demanding circumstances and we’re all pulling together as a Primary Health Care Trust to provide a great service for our patients.”

Mike Bewick, deputy medical director at NHS England, which commissions GP services, said: “This data is extremely helpful in building a picture of the things that matter to patients about their local practice – being safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led. And it is reassuring to see that most practices are doing well against these indicators.”

The Medwyn Centre in Reigate Road, Dorking, was rated five, the New House Surgery in South Street, Dorking, was rated three and Eastwick Park Medical Practice in Bookham was rated four.