Doncaster urgent medical care centre 'must improve'

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Doncaster's out of hours urgent medical care centre has been told it must improve.

The centre houses the borough's GP Out-of-Hours Service, which provides health care for urgent medical problems outside normal surgery hours. This service is available for urgent medical situations but not for emergencies.

But inspectors who visited the centre have raised concerns over the overall operation of the centre, and, specifically, safety, and how well led it is. Both categories, and the service overall, were rated as 'requires improvement'.

For effectiveness, how caring it is, and how responsive it is to people's needs, it is rated as good.

The report, by Care Quality Commission chief inspector of general practice Prof Steve Field, lists a string of improvements that should be made.

He said the centre must:

• Ensure all those who act as chaperones for the centre are trained for the role and chaperone information is available to patients.

• Ensure stocks of medicines are regularly checked, appropriately disposed of and prescription pads are tracked through the service.

• Ensure the arrangements for accessing controlled drugs from midnight to 7am are appropriate and staff know how to access these. Ensure the stock lists for controlled drugs are updated so staff know which drugs are kept in each area.

• Review driver checks in place to ensure they are fit for their role.

• Review the process for DBS checks (checks for past criminal convictions) for agency staff.

• Ensure the system in place to ensure equipment is well looked after is effective.

• Ensure staff have access to all the policies and procedures as required.

The report stated: "We found the registered provider was failing to ensure the safety of patients by not ensuring all those who act as chaperones were trained for the role and not ensuring safe systems for medications and prescription pads. The provider was failing to take steps to assure themselves that clinicians have had DBS checks.

"We found the registered provider was failing to ensure systems were monitored effectively such as the systems for calibrating equipment and ensuring all staff could access the relevant guidelines. Some staff were not always aware of which information was available and the systems for cascading information to all staff were not working."

But service users were pleased with the staff at the centre and 87 per cent (187 out of 211) said they thought the doctor or nurse was good or excellent.

Staff had the skills, knowledge and experience to deliver effective care and treatment, and feedback from the large majority of patients through comment cards and collected by the provider was very positive.

Patients said they were treated with compassion, dignity and respect and they were involved in decisions about their care and treatment

Inspectors said they saw staff treated patients with kindness and respect, and maintained patient and information confidentiality.

The report said the service had good facilities and was well equipped to treat patients and meet their needs and it had systems in place to ensure patients received care and treatment in a timely way and according to the urgency of need.

No comment was available from Doncaster NHS Clinical Commissioning Group.