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Severe safety problems in GP surgeries

The Guardian reported yesterday that “About 7 million people are being treated at GP surgeries in England that have severe safety problems, according to the first performance review of its kind by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

It goes on to say that “One in seven GP practices are failing on safety, even after CQC inspectors have told them to improve, the report found, with smaller practices more likely to be rated “inadequate” or “requiring improvement”.”

It was also very concerning to read that London has the highest rate of practices (17%) rated as “inadequate or requiring improvement”.

The report found that whilst patients like small “one man band” practices these are in fact more likely to be in breach of CQC standards.

The report said that so called “super surgeries” appeared to be better able to meet CQC standards.

The report said: “Findings from our interviews suggest that in a larger practice it is easier to have staff with defined roles, and there is a greater likelihood that there will be well-functioning nursing teams where nurses focus on particular areas, such as diabetes or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and junior nurses take on task-oriented roles.

GP Negligence cases

General Practitioners are the frontline of the NHS and we all rely on them to ensure quick and effective treatment for ourselves and our family.

The NHS uses GPs as the gatekeepers to specialist care at NHS hospitals and they can ensure that we can get to the next stage of treatment quickly and effectively. We completely rely on them to make quick referrals to the right hospital specialist.

Examples of Doctor Negligence

GPs are often under a lot of pressure and are required to see many patients each day. Unfortunately they can sometimes make errors in their care of patients.

Typical errors might be as follows;-

  • Making the wrong diagnosis
  • Fail to diagnose
  • Prescribing errors
  • Failure to refer
  • Fail to refer on an urgent basis

Administrative errors

Unfortunately when a GP practice is required to monitor the care of thousands of patients it is sometimes the case that administrative errors can occur. Small admin errors can have enormous consequences. For example, a missing blood test result could be vital to the patient’s care.

Suing your GP

Many people are wary of suing their GP. They worry that as a result of making a claim they will be treated less favourably in the future. However, we have never found this to be the case. We have always found that this is not how GPs react when a complaint or claim is made. People can remain with the same GP whilst their claim is made and we would not expect future treatment would be affected. However, if this is a concern transfer of care can be made to another local GP.