Sleaford GP surgery out of special measures

Sleaford Medical Group have announced that they have been given a “Good” rating by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), 18 months after being placed in special measures.

The largest GPs surgery in Sleaford with over 18,000 patients, Sleaford Medical Group (SMG) received the all-clear last month following a third CQC inspection since the start of 2017.

The news comes after a ‘final warning’ being issued to the practice last November, as a series of failures to meet standards for patient care and safety were first identified in April 2017.

Dr Pardoe, one of the GPs and a partner of the practice, said: “It has taken a lot of hard work and dedication from all of our staff to get to this point.

“We have reassessed all of our systems including how we offer appointments, how patient data is recorded, provided staff training and improved communication and we have redesigned our website to allow patients to self-diagnose, book appointments and request their prescriptions.

“The secondary care system across the country has been under enormous stress in recent years and is going through a redefinition at the moment.

“But as GPs we are general specialists, and whatever need comes through our door, we need to be able to treat it.”

Diane Hibberd, who has been a patient with the practice since 1990, said: “Though it is sometimes hard to get an appointment, and I know some people have had their problems [with the practice], they have so many patients and they’ve looked after me and mine very well over the years.

“I think they do a fantastic job.”

Zoe Berry, resident of Sleaford and patient of the practice, said: “There have been times where I’ve had to wait over an hour for an appointment, which is not good at all.

“A lot of more work needs doing at the surgery to be able to regain my trust!”

Peter Harding, who has been a patient with the practice for 35 years, said: “I was surprised when they went into special measures because I never saw the evidence for it, so I’m pleased they’re now coming out.

“There is a shortage of doctors for the growing population of Sleaford, and that does mean that it’s not easy getting quick appointments.”

Dr Da Silva, GP at the practice, said: “It has been a difficult time, but it has made us better as a practice”.

by Tom McBeth

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