ELDENE Surgery has put in special measures after a damning report by health inspectors.

The Care Quality Commission found the IMH-run surgery was inadequate in almost all areas.

In its report it said ‘there was a risk that staff may not respond appropriately to medical emergencies’. 

Inspectors found:

– Four expired urine pots, meaning the new provider hadn’t done proper checks of the surgery. 

– Temperatures of the medicine fridges were not correct and the records showed that they were only being checked once a day and sometimes not at all. They should be checked twice a day. 

– Emergency medicines and equipment was not being checked following the practice policy that sets out timescales for expiration dates of medicines. 

– Patients could be left waiting for up to an hour to book appointments on the phone. On average, 25 per cent of people hung up. 

– One patient’s test results at the surgery showed that they needed hospital treatment but a temporary GP was reluctant The patient was sent to the hospital, but delay this risked the their safety. 

– Four out of 14 staff had not been trained on how to deal with infection control. 

– Fire extinguishers had not been checked since February 2019. They should be checked every month. An external fire company checked the extinguishers on the day of inspection and they suggested they should all be replaced. 

Inspectors said in their report: “There had been a failure to carry out a clear assessment of how the service was operating at the time of the business transition in September 2018 under the old provider. 

“The provider could not demonstrate that risks to patients’ health and safety had been addressed and there were action plans in place to mitigate risk and ensure safety.”

Last week the Adver revealed that IMH will be leaving Swindon, where it runs five surgeries, in November.
The Manchester-based firm has had well-documented problems with its phone line appointment-booking system. Earlier this year Moredon, which it runs, was rated ‘inadequate’ and Taw Hill, another IMH centre, as ‘requires improvement’. 

The report said staff at the surgery had said they that were overloaded with work and that they don’t feel respected or appreciated. 

The practice has said it is looking to recruit more staff to help with the workload. 
But the report did rate the surgery as being ‘good’ for caring of their patients.
Inspectors said: “Staff treated patients with kindness, respect and compassion. Feedback from patients was positive.”

Now another inspection will happen within six months. If enough improvements have not been made by the practice then it could close. A report must be sent to CQC outlining the improvement bosses will make. 
A spokesperson from the Swindon Clinical Commissioning Group told the Adver: “While it is disappointing to see a practice rated as inadequate, the issues raised in the CQC report are ones that we are already aware of, and supporting staff to address. 

“As with the other practices in Swindon that had been in partnership with the IMH Group, the CCG is ensuring that normal service is maintained through conducting regular quality visits and supplying experienced GPs to provide additional clinical insight and overview.”

Bazil Solomon, Labour’s ward councillor for Liden, Eldene and Park South, said: “I’m worried for my residents in my area. It’s just going to affect the patients there. We need a lot of support. It’s a mess and it’s very worrying.”

The Adver approached IMH and Eldene Surgery for a comment.