Why 'inadequate' was the best rating Littlehampton GP surgeries could have received

Fitzalan Medical Group has been rated as 'inadequate'
Fitzalan Medical Group has been rated as 'inadequate'

The manager of two Littlehampton GP surgeries rated as 'inadequate' has explained their latest inspection rating - and why it was the best result they could have received.

Fitzalan Medical Group was given the result in a report published on Thursday, following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission in November. The medical group had formerly been threatened with closure if they did not improve.

Dr James Walsh, and Fitzalan Medical Centre

Dr James Walsh, and Fitzalan Medical Centre

Beverley Wallis has been business practice manager at the surgery since October. She explained that because this was a focused inspection, they were unable to get a higher rating than the 'inadequate' rating they got after their previous inspection in August.

The purpose of this inspection was to address warning notices that had been issued in August, including 'monitoring the prescribing of controlled drugs and medicines that can be subject to abuse' and clearing a backlog of correspondence.

All of these notices had been addressed, the report found - meaning the surgery did as well as it could at this inspection.

The manager said: "It went really well. It was actually good to have the inspection in one respect, to know we are on the right track and know what it is going to take to improve.

The next stage of the process was a full inspection, where the surgery had the chance to improve its overall rating. Ms Wallis said they expected that to take place in April.

The medical group looks after 16,500 patients at surgeries in Fitzalan Road, Littlehampton, and Clun Road, Wick.

Dr James Walsh, a former Littlehampton GP who is on West Sussex County Council's Health and Adult Social Care Select Committee, said: "The surgery has made great strides in the right direction, and for that I am sure myself and everyone else applauds them."

He added that it was 'a great disappointment' that due to a 'technicality' in the CQC's inspection process these improvements were not reflected in their latest rating.