‘Inadequate’ Dagenham GP practice gave out medicines without prescriptions

Heathway Medical Centre, which is based in The Broad Street Centre, was rated as inadequate by healt

Heathway Medical Centre, which is based in The Broad Street Centre, was rated as inadequate by health inspectors - Credit: Archant

A GP practice where staff gave out vaccines and medicines without prescriptions has been put in special measures.

Heathway Medical Centre in Dagenham was rated as “inadequate” in a report by health chiefs published on Thursday.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) said that the 3,800 people on the Morland Road surgery’s books were “at risk of harm” and noted that there was no system in place to deal with emergencies.

The findings follow an inspection in May, which found key areas of service safety, effectiveness and leadership to be “inadequate”. The other key areas of caring service and responsiveness to patients’ needs were found to “require improvement”.

The report reveals appropriate recruitment checks were not made on staff, patients’ notes were not securely stored and there was no record of infection control audits.

Inspectors found practice policy was out of date and management never held proper meetings and failed to produce a business strategy when required.

Lengthy waiting times and difficulties in making appointments were also highlighted as issues.

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Practice manager Kostyantyn Bakanov told the Post that staff at the centre are working to improve services.

“The practice is co-operating with the regulator on the issues highlighted,” he said. “As the process is ongoing we wouldn’t offer any particular comment on the details at this moment in time.”

The CQC report also identified some areas of good practice, noting the centre’s success in the area of mental health.

Inspectors found performance for mental health related indicators was similar to the CCG and national average.

It also found all patients on the mental health register had comprehensive care plans agreed in the last 12 months compared with the national average of 88pc.

Patients also said that they were treated with compassion and dignity.

CQC inspectors will reassess the practice in six months’ time.