Littlehampton GP surgeries taken out of special measures

Fitzalan Medical Group is out of special measures
Fitzalan Medical Group is out of special measures

A GP surgery group formerly threatened with closure has now been taken out of special measures.

Fitzalan Medical Group looks after 16,500 patients at surgeries in Fitzalan Road, Littlehampton, and Clun Road, Wick, but its future was in doubt after two ‘inadequate’ ratings by the Care Quality Commission in March and October last year.

But after months of hard work to turn the group’s fortunes around, Dr Rosie Benneyworth, Chief Inspector of Primary Medical Services and Integrated Care, rated it as ‘requires improvement’ overall.

In an inspection report published on May 22, she said: “I am taking this service out of special measures.

“This recognises the significant improvements made to the quality of care provided by the service.”

The announced full inspection took place on April 4.

Inspectors rated Fitzalan as ‘requires improvement’ for providing safe, effective and well-led services, and ‘good’ for being caring and responsive.

One area which had previously been a problem was treating patients with long-term conditions and the system for repeat prescriptions.

Dr Benneyworth said: “The practice was proactively managing patients with long-term conditions; however it was too early to demonstrate that the changes to these systems were embedded.”

The inspectors noted that there was ‘one area of outstanding practice’. The surgery had developed a ‘child not brought’ protocol so children who missed appointments were followed up, and inspectors saw this had ‘resulted in appropriate referrals to the safeguarding team’.

Following the medical group’s second ‘inadequate’ rating in October, the CQC’s chief inspector of general practice warned it could be closed if it did not improve after six months.

It has now reached this deadline.