Dorset

Bournemouth GP surgery patients 'at risk of harm'

Durdells Avenue Surgery Image copyright Google
Image caption The practice failed to take steps to prevent infection from legionella, the CQC said.

Patients at a doctors' surgery were at risk of harm because of staff shortages and a lack of training in infection control, the CQC has said.

Durdells Avenue Surgery in Bournemouth has been placed in special measures by the health regulator after being rated inadequate.

The CQC said the practice would be inspected in six months but could face closure unless it improved.

The surgery said it was "disappointed" but was working to address the issues.

'Visibly dirty'

According to the CQC, the practice had been told it was "at high risk of infection from legionella" - a bacterium which can contaminate water systems - but had not acted to minimise the risk of infection.

It said some areas were "visibly dirty" and the clinical sharps box, which should be changed every three months to minimise infection, had "not been changed since September 2015".

Also blank prescription stationery was not always kept secure and, on one occasion, clinical information was mistakenly sent to a GP who was on long-term absence so was not dealt with for eight months.

The inspection in February found patients were positive about their interactions and were treated with "dignity and compassion" but staff lacked training in chaperone duties, adult safeguarding and the Mental Capacity Act - which seeks to protect patients unable to make important decisions.

The practice said it acknowledged the findings and wanted to "reassure patients" it was "already working hard to address the issues".

A spokesman said: "Despite the overall rating we are pleased to have been rated as good for caring services."

A letter from the chief inspector of general practice Prof Steve Field said: "Where necessary, another inspection will be conducted within a further six months, and if there is not enough improvement we will move to close the service."

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