Inspection finds GP surgery put patients 'at risk of harm'
A GP surgery has been put in special measures after inspectors found staff shortages had put patients at risk.
Barn Surgery at Christchurch Medical Centre, in Christchurch, has been rated inadequate by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
It said patients were "very well supported" by staff who treated them with "compassion and dignity".
But the chief inspector said processes were not being followed "as a direct result of staff shortages".
He said the practice would be inspected again within six months and if not enough progress had been made its registration could be cancelled.
A senior partner at the surgery said it had been unable to recruit a fourth GP and a fully qualified nurse practitioner.
'Risk of harm'
Chief inspector, Prof Steve Field, said: "There were substantial staff shortages of GPs with staff working long hours to meet patient demands, potentially increasing the risks to people using the practice.
"Patients were at risk of harm because systems and processes were not being followed to keep them safe as a direct result of staff shortages.
"For example, appropriate fire drills and some training was not undertaken by all staff."
He also noted that "despite the challenges...staff aspired to provide safe, high quality and compassionate care".
Dr Neil Tallant, senior partner at Barn Surgery, said: "We would like to apologise to patients for any anxiety that the results of the inspection could cause."
He added the practice was working to address the issues raised, which had not led to any reports of harm to patients.
The inspection happened between 17 and 19 May.