'Inadequate' Burnley medical centre threatened with closure by CQC
A deteriorating Burnley medical centre rated as 'inadequate' by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has been placed into special measures and will be closed should the quality of service fail to improve within six months.
Following an inspection on June 27th of this year, Daneshouse Medical Centre on Old Hall Street, was adjudged to be 'inadequate' in terms of safety, effectiveness, leadership, care, and responsiveness, with Professor Steve Field, Chief Inspector of General Practice, insisting that "the service will be kept under review and if needed could be escalated to urgent enforcement action."
Originally rated as 'inadequate' by CQC inspectors in June 2017, officials claimed that the centre's estimated 3,220 patients at the centre were “at risk of harm” due to the poor quality of provision, with Alison Holbourn, the CQC’s Deputy Chief Inspector of General Practice, calling it "unacceptable" at the time.
In December 2017, Daneshouse - which caters for an area rated as one of the most deprived in the country by Public Health England - was inspected again and earned a slightly improved overall rating of 'requires improvement' as well as being given a list of targets to ensure that progress would be continued and sustainable.
Despite this, the latest report says that "the practice leadership had failed to respond appropriately to the concerns identified at the previous inspection," and that despite the inspection being announced prior to the date, there were "a number of areas where the practice had deteriorated" and improvements to manage risk had not been maintained.
Citing "examples where patients’ medication not being appropriately monitored through reviews and health checks as necessary," and that fact that "staff did not consistently prescribe, administer or supply medicines to patients and give advice on medicines in line with current national guidance," the centre has been told to "ensure care and treatment is provided in a safe way to patients."
Additionally, the report criticised the working environment, pointing to the fact that "staff stated they were not always made to feel respected, supported and valued," and that they "often felt undermined when raising concerns," while Professor Field wrote: "We saw evidence of strained relationships between staff and teams."
A further inspection is set to take place within the next six months, and if the centre has not improved across the key sectors of care to the point where no service is rated as inadequate, then the CQC will close the service.
The average life expectancy of the population cared for by the practice is noticeably lower than the local and national averages, with females expected to live 80 years (compared to a Clinical Commissioning Group average of 81 and national average of 83) and males expected to live 74 years (compared to CCG average of 77 and national average of 79).
Nobody at the medical centre was available for comment.