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August 19th 2021

GP Negligence

Worrying possibility of ‘missed diagnoses’ for patients of ‘inadequate’ Leeds medical centre

Vince Shore

Vince Shore

Joint Head of Clinical Negligence, Hull

Worrying possibility of ‘missed diagnoses’ for patients of ‘inadequate’ Leeds medical centre

The findings of a Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection which has resulted in a Leeds medical centre having its registration suspended makes worrying reading for patients.

The findings of a Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection which has resulted in a Leeds medical centre having its registration suspended makes worrying reading for patients.

The Shadwell Medical Centre, in Shadwell Lane, was rated unsafe, in-effective and inadequate following two inspection visits in June.

The CQC has highlighted ‘possible missed diagnoses’ for patients with diabetes and chronic kidney disease as a result.

It said there was ‘no clear systems in place to manage patients with urgent needs’, and that on some days there was no clinician working on site, with a culture of bullying, intimidation and a fear of the lead GP.

“Some days there was no doctor on site which is unacceptable as a patient could need a face-to-face appointment. We also found evidence that this led to delayed access to patient care and treatment,” the CQC said.

Concerns were raised last year leading to inspections at Shadwell Medical Centre

Worryingly, the failings look to have been ongoing for some time.

Looking at the inspection report in detail, the CQC says a previous inspection was carried out at Shadwell Medical Centre in October 2020 as a result of concerns being received.

A follow-up inspection was then carried out on June 7 of this year, again due to concerns being raised, before an unannounced third site visit in less than a year was carried out on June 18, due to concerns of inspectors over staffing levels.

NHS Leeds Clinical Care Commissioning Group (CCG) has said that temporary caretaking arrangements have been put in place already with another practice, and that it will be contacting Shadwell Medical Centre patients “about their care and future options”.

However, I would expect there to be some strong questions asked as to how patient care could have been allowed to fall so far.

I’d also expect the CCG to ensure thorough investigations are conducted to discover the true impact of these failings on patients.

The report highlighted that cervical screening uptake at the surgery was lower than local and national averages and there was little evidence of an effective practice recall system, or enough nursing hours to cope with demand.

Concerns were also raised about how results from medical tests were dealt with and said that ‘some staff were asked to carry out duties they weren’t qualified for’.

It said that not all staff were up-to-date with mandatory training, and did not receive annual appraisals or training and development assessments.

In my experience of handling claims of delayed diagnosis and misdiagnosis of cases, such failings are common factors in cases which can prove hugely costly for patients in terms of their long-term health and well-being.

It is important now that, whoever is given the responsibility of caring for patients of this practice, does so with a keen eye to identify those who may have been left most at risk by the string of failings.

The report has highlighted inadequate care to patients young and old, those with long-term conditions and people experiencing poor mental health.

It is vital that the care provided to each and every patient at Shadwell Medical Centre, especially those potentially most at risk, is thoroughly reviewed as soon as possible, with urgent action taken to try and redress any harm which may have been caused.

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