‘Highest risk’ doctors surgeries revealed in health reports

Parkside Medical Centre
Parkside Medical Centre

Two doctors surgeries have been placed within the highest risk bracket as part of a new set of health reports from the Care and Quality Commission.

The healthcare watchdog has produced an Ofsted-style league table, available online, to allow patients to check the quality of care on offer from GP practices.

It has ranked 7,276 practices and revealed 861 are showing ‘highest concern’ (band one).

The ones in band one in Boston borough are Parkside Medical Centre, on Tawney Street, and Old Leake Medical Centre.

The report showed seven ‘risks’ associated with Parkside, including two ‘elevated’ risks.

They centre on targets relating tothe medication given to drug and alcohol addicts and the number of patients who say their GP was good or very good last time they saw them.

Parkside manager David Harding said the reason that the figure for medication for addicts was higher than the average was because so many drug and alcohol abusers were referred to the practice.

“Unfortunately, the statistics can be manipulated and one of the things that we had is for the amount of hypnotics but one of our GPs looks after DART (Drugs and Alcohol Recovery Team) patients – that’s because of the type of patients we have registered at our practice.”

He said the practice was also working on other risks raised, including the number of people to receive influenza vaccines – which he said had already risen by four percent for certain groups.

“You can’t force people to come in and be treated but we are working on that and we are improving.”

He said he was looking to the next official inspection because it would give the practice a chance to show its strengths.

The report for Old Leake highlighted elevated risks over the number of diabetes patients who had a higher than average blood pressure and the number of patients who are current smokers with health conditions who had been offered help quitting.

Old Leake representatives declined to comment on their report.

The two best GPs in the area, in band six, were Westside Surgery, on Sleaford Road, Boston, (no risks) and Stickney Surgery (one risk).

Practice managers at both locations said they were pleased with the report and said they had been working hard on improving access at their surgeries.

Christine Morgan, at Stickney, said they offered appointments the same week, while Ian Blakin at Westside said they had increased staffing, installed new systems and new telephones.

Lincolnshire East CCG chairman Dr Brynnen Massey said: “The CQC’s Intelligent Monitoring reports use data for GP practices from a range of sources relating to important areas of care, which give the CQC a clearer understanding of each practice and help it to decide when, where and what to inspect.

“The reports include indicators covering a range of activity in practices and the experiences of patients, and are not a judgement on GPs.”