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'Risk to health and wellbeing of patients' at Five Elms medical practice in Dagenham

PUBLISHED: 16:53 31 May 2017 | UPDATED: 16:55 31 May 2017

Five Elms medical centre, housed within Five Elms health centre, has been upgraded to 'requires improvement' after CQC published their latest report last week.

Five Elms medical centre, housed within Five Elms health centre, has been upgraded to 'requires improvement' after CQC published their latest report last week.

Archant

The lack of qualified staff at a GP surgery poses a "risk to the health and wellbeing" of patients, a new report shows.

Inspectors upgraded Five Elms medical practice in Dagenham from “inadequate” to “requires improvement” following a visit months after it was taken out of special measures.

But the Five Elms Road surgery, which is housed within a purpose-built health centre, is still rated “inadequate” for its responsiveness, and requires improvement for providing effective, caring and well-led services.

In Thursday’s Care Quality Commission (CQC) report, inspectors stress that “sufficient numbers of suitably qualified, competent, skilled and experienced persons” are needed at the surgery, where just one full-time GP currently operates.

Safety at the practice was upgraded to “good”, though patients still suffer “poor continuity of care”.

The number of patients who said they always or almost always see or speak to the GP they prefer had leapt from five to 17 per cent since the inspection in April 2016.

But the figure still lies significantly below the national average of 60pc, while only 25pc of patients could easily get through by phone.

Patients without English as a first language reported better access to services during February’s inspection.

The report notes that the practice had a “vision to provide high quality care and promote good outcomes for patients” but did not always have “effective supporting plans to deliver this vision”.

In contrast, older patients were offered “proactive, personalised care”, while people with long-term conditions such as asthma and diabetes also received comparable care to the national average.

But patient satisfaction remained low, with just 30pc saying they would definitely or probably recommend their GP surgery to someone who has just moved to the local area – less than half of the 70pc national average but a jump up from the 22pc previously surveyed.

The surgery must now improve on getting feedback from patients “for the purposes of continually evaluating and improving services”.

Five Elms has been contacted for a comment.

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