A SWINDON surgery has been told to improve by watchdog bosses.

Great Western Surgery, off Ocotal Way, was given a “Requires Improvement” rating by inspectors from watchdog the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

It comes a year after the doctors’ surgery was praised with a “Good” rating. In January, the surgery was taken over by Carfax Health Enterprise, which also manages the town centre Carfax NHS Medical Centre and Sparcells Surgery in Peatmoor.

The CQC visited Great Western Surgery in August. On two out five key areas – service safety and effectiveness - the practice was rated as “requires improvement”. The remaining three areas were rated as “good”.

Inspectors found that, although there was an “open and transparent approach to safety”, with systems in place for reporting “significant events”, verbal complaints were not recorded.

Staff who had worked at the surgery before it changed hands had not been looked into by HR officers – with important checks, such as criminal record checks, left incomplete.

Surgery bosses were told that the must “ensure care and treatment is provided in a safe way for patients”. They should also keep required information about all employees and make sure all staff receive the relevant training, support and supervision, inspectors said.

They suggested that a fridge used for storing vaccines should be consistently monitored. Inspectors found that the fridge had not been calibrated since September 2015, meaning that “the provider could not be assured if the vaccine fridge was operating effectively”.

However, the inspectors said that new provider Carfax Health Enterprise had bought new equipment for the surgery and that the group had developed systems to minimise risk to patient safety – although these were not yet fully in place. They included regular meetings to discuss complaints.

The surgery was praised for its approach to patient care, with inspectors saying that staff were “courteous and very helpful to patients and treated them with dignity and respect”.

The inspectors were told that the family members of patients who had died were either contacted by their usual GP or sent a sympathy card.

A spokesman for Carfax Health Enterprise, which manages the centre, said: “We welcome the CQC report and note that it highlights many areas of good practice.

“However, there are still areas where improvements need to be implemented and we are working to make these changes.”