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Merrow’s GP Surgery Requires Improvement

Published on: 7 Feb, 2022
Updated on: 8 Feb, 2022

Merrow Park doctors surgery, Kingfisher Drive, Merrow, Guildford – Inspection found it requires improvement over poor record keeping.

By Emily Coady-Stemp

local democracy reporter

Guildford’s Merrow Park Surgery requires improvement after an inspection found that “leaders lacked oversight” and raised questions about staff vaccinations.

A report from the Care Quality Commission, responsible for inspecting healthcare providers, said an inspection was carried out in November “in response to concerns” about the Guildford surgery.

Inspectors found that systems for assessing, monitoring and improving the quality and safety of the service were not always effective.

The report said: “Leaders lacked oversight of some processes and therefore failed to identify risks when those processes did not operate as intended. The practice did not always act on appropriate and accurate information.”

Inspectors said the practice provided care in a way that kept patients safe and protected them from avoidable harm, that patients received effective care and treatment and staff dealt with patients with kindness and respect, involving them in decisions about their care.

But the report highlighted that staff vaccination was not maintained in line with current Public Health England guidance relating to roles, and that recruitment checks were not always carried out in line with regulations.

A spokesperson for the practice said that a new practice manager had been in place since January 4 and had updated and improved processes that were highlighted in the report.

They added that all staff were vaccinated were in line with PHE requirements, but that “some of the information was not available on the inspection date, due to inability to access electronic records related to the change in practice manager.”

Similarly, according to the spokesperson, recruitment checks had been carried out for all staff but were not available for the inspection.

They said in both cases, the required information had now been provided to the CQC who had confirmed it as in line with regulations.

Cllr George Potter

County councillor for Guildford East, George Potter (Lib Dem), said: “Residents will undoubtedly be concerned that services ‘require improvement’ in the areas of safety and leadership. And it’s concerning to discover that the surgery was apparently unable to access some of its own electronic records on the inspection; this hardly reflects well on the management of the practice.

“But a greater concern, by far, to residents is that Merrow Park is still having to accommodate hundreds of additional patients from Burpham, due to the Clinical Commissioning Group’s utter disinterest in providing a replacement for New Inn Surgery (which closed in 2019), and the fact that the new bus routes have made it much harder for those with mobility issues to even access the surgery in the first place.

“As concerning as the CQC report is, it’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to healthcare provision in Burpham and Merrow.”

A spokesperson for Merrow Park Surgery said the practice acknowledged the rating of “needs improvement” and the key points raised in the report.

They said: “The full CQC report records that the surgery has already put an action plan in place to correct several of the areas identified as needing improvement.

“The majority of these relate to providing printed, written evidence of our policies and procedures on the inspection day. This is to ensure we maintain safe and effective care for our patients, as well as our employees.

“Our practice manager had left (as planned) the week before the inspection. The CQC’s assessment of the effectiveness of our care was rated as good.

“We are keen to reassure all our patients that our health care, advice and support has not been compromised and we will continue to ensure we meet or even exceed statutory requirements.

“We recognise there are areas for us to develop and improve and we are already taking steps to ensure we meet these requirements in full as set out in the CQC report.”

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to comment.

Cllr Deborah Seabrook

Cllr Deborah Seabrook (R4GV, Merrow) said: “Like many residents, I was concerned to learn that Merrow Park GP Surgery’s Recent CQC inspection gave an overall rating of ‘Requires Improvement’.

“Having now read the whole report and the evidence table, I am relieved that the surgery demonstrated compliance to the majority of CQC’s criteria and its effectiveness was rated as ‘Good’.

“Since the inspection, the practice has provided additional evidence and is working on further improvements. I look forward to seeing the practice implement the recommendations and return to its previous overall rating of ‘Good’ in the near future, to give their patients the reassurance they need.”

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