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Theale Medical Centre told it requires improvement

Partners say they are disappointed but improvements are being made

Theale Medical Centre told it requires improvement

THEALE Medical Centre ‘requires improvement’ according to the Care Quality Commission.

The centre said it is disappointed with the findings, but insists that improvements have been made. 

An inspection, carried out in March, ruled that two of the five categories required improvement (safe, well lead) but the other three were good (effective, caring and responsive). 

The CQC report said that dispensary processes did not always keep patients safe, saying that not all medicines were dispensed according to recommended guidelines and confidential information was not disposed of correctly.

Not all staff felt supported by management and morale was low, the report continued. 

Inspectors noted that the practice had been through a period of high staff turnover in the 12 months leading up to the inspection; appointing a new practice manager, 15 receptionists and five new dispensers since March 2016.

The medical centre, which provides primary care services to approximately 10,948 patients, achieved good ratings in the effective,  caring, and responsive inspection categories.

Patient outcomes were at or above average compared to the national average.

Staff were also found to have skills to deliver effective care and treatment, although the centre didn’t have updated training records. 

The majority of patients said they were treated with compassion, dignity and respect, but not all felt cared for. 

Feedback from patients reported that access to a named GP and continuity of care was not always available quickly, although urgent appointments were usually available the same day.

In a statement on behalf of the partners, posted on the centre’s website, Dr Penny Brooke said: “Whilst we were rated ‘good’ for our services being effective, caring and responsive to patient’s needs, we were obviously disappointed that CQC highlighted a few areas that required improvement.

“We were very pleased that CQC recognised the many areas of good practice within Theale Medical Centre.

“We have been happy to make any changes that improve our services and contribute to patient safety as highlighted in the report and as such have already made the few changes they required in dispensary.”

The centre said it had enhanced its already rigorous system for dealing with complaints and two patient feedback sessions have been held since the inspection, with more planned. 

All new staff had received required checks and were aware of practice policies.

It added that staff training was accurately recorded and reviewed monthly.

“We sincerely believe we now have a great team to help us move forward in continuing to provide an excellent standard of care at a very challenging time for the NHS,” Dr Brooke said.  

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