The Drive Surgery in Ilford ‘inadequate’ but can stay open

A doctor’s surgery rated as “inadequate” for safety following a change in management has been allowed to remain open.

The Drive, Ilford, was put into special measures last October after inspectors gave it the lowest rating for safety and good governance.

Inspectors raised concerns about the lack of evidence that the defibrillator or oxygen bottle had been serviced or checked since 2019.

They also found the temperature monitor of the vaccine fridge was broken and poorly kept records of which staff were qualified to administer vaccines.

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During a follow-up inspection in February this year The Drive showed inspectors it had made improvements in most areas of concern.

After the October inspection, chief inspector of primary medical services and integrated care, Dr Rosie Benneyworth, pointed to a “change in management” as impacting the quality of service.

She said: “The provider did not assess the impact on the quality of service provided when changes occurred within the practice, in particular with reference to the change in practice management.

“There was minimal evidence that the provider had reviewed existing governance systems to assure themselves that these systems were fit for purpose.

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“There was limited evidence that the provider had oversight of the day-to-day functions of the practice in general, in particular during the time of the departure and handover period between practice managers.”

Some employees also told Dr Benneyworth other members of staff were not “approachable” and the practice had failed to appoint a Freedom to Speak Up Guardian.

The surgery, run by Dr Padma Gooty, is allowed to remain open but will not see any change in ratings until a full inspection.

According to the inspection report, published by the Care Quality Commission, the surgery had a patient population of about 6,900.

Dr Gooty is supported by four salaried GPs and six locum GPs who work just under a week’s worth of shifts.

The Drive has not responded to an offer to comment on this story.

A spokesperson for NHS North East London Clinical Commissioning Group said: “Since receiving the CQC’s inspection report, we have been working closely with the practice team to address the concerns raised and ensure that an action plan is put in place as quickly as possible to make the required improvements.

“As commissioners, our priority is ensuring patients can access safe and high quality services that meet the high standards they rightly expect.”

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