CARE watchdogs have thrown a health centre into special measures and threatened it with closure if ‘urgent’ improvements can’t be made.
Experts from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) issued the warning to bosses at the Bridgemary Medical Centre after giving the site the worst possible rating of ‘inadequate’.
Monitors were shocked by the deterioration in the quality of services at the facility, which had previously been rated ‘good’ in December 2014.
But during an inspection in June
While Bridgemary’s leadership team was criticised for being ‘unable to demonstrate their capacity and skills to deliver high-quality care’.
The Gregson Avenue centre, which serves about 8,000 people, now has six months to turn things around.
In her report, Dr Rosie Benneyworth said the health hub would be ‘kept under review’ and if needed ‘could be escalated to urgent enforcement action’ and warned the CQC would ‘move to close the service’ if improvements weren’t made.
Ruth Rankine, deputy chief inspector of general practice for the south of England, hoped Bridgemary could turn things around ‘for the sake of their patients’.
She added: ‘It is a concern to find that during our focused inspection, areas of care that were previously rated as good are now areas that need urgent improvement.
‘Patients need to be cared for by trained and qualified management and staff, and systems need to be in place and delivered within safe guidelines.’
Examiners focused on two areas of the facility – its effectiveness and leadership. They found the site was inadequate in both.
Among the findings in its latest review, the CQC found patients needs were ‘not assessed’ and care and treatment was ‘not delivered in line with current legislation’.
The practice did not have clear systems and processes to keep patients safe, the report said.
Inspectors insisted Bridgemary must now establish ‘effective systems and processes’ and ‘good governance’ and ensure treatment is provided in a ‘safe way to patients’, among other recommendations.
Caroline Dinenage, Gosport MP and health minister, said she was ‘concerned’ by the investigation but insisted the actions plan set out by the CQC should ‘help correct’ things.
A spokesman for Bridgemary Medical Centre said: ‘I would like to reassure all our patients that we have already put robust and wide-ranging plans in place to address all the issues raised by the CQC.’
For a full statement by the organisation, click here.
Bridgemary is still rated ‘good’ by the CQC for providing patients with safe, responsive and caring services.