Troubled Hounslow GP surgery with 8,500 patients could close two years after opening

A Hounslow GP surgery with thousands of patients has been warned it could be closed less than two years after opening.

Heston Health Clinic, in Cranford Lane, took over from another GP in June 2017 and Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspectors visited for the first time in December 2018.

A report of the findings published in February shows the surgery with 8,500 registered patients got off to an appalling start, with inspectors judging the practice as ‘inadequate’ overall – the worst possible rating – and placing it in special measures.

Inspectors warned they could force the surgery to shut if improvements aren’t made quickly.

An inspector wrote in the report: “I am placing this service in special measures. Services placed in special measures will be inspected again within six months.

“If insufficient improvements have been made, such that there remains a rating of inadequate for any population group, key question or overall, we will take action in line with our enforcement procedures to begin the process of preventing the provider from operating the service.

“This will lead to cancelling their registration or to varying the terms of their registration within six months if they do not improve.”

Inspectors became aware of concerns from anonymous staff and patients before the visit and the practice was warned about not providing enough GP appointments.

Of the five areas inspectors judged at the surgery, four were rated inadequate while the other ‘requires improvement’.

Inspectors listed reasons for the surgery’s under-performance, including:

  • It did not have clear systems and processes to keep patients safe.
  • Receptionists and staff had not been given guidance on identifying deteriorating or acutely unwell patients.
  • Not all administrative staff had received appropriate safeguarding training.
  • There were no appropriate systems in place for the safe management of medicines.
  • Staff did not learn and make improvements when things went wrong.
  • It could not show that care was provided in line with current guidelines and best practice.
  • The practice was unable to show that staff had the skills, knowledge and experience to carry out their roles.
  • Patients had difficulty accessing the service by phone.
  • Patients reported difficulty making a complaint.
  • The practice could not show that it was learning and making timely improvements to the service following complaints.
  • A spokesman for Living Care, which runs the service, said: “LivingCare are working with the CCG (clinical commissioning group) and CQC to improve the provision at the Heston and Great West Practice, Hounslow.

“We are committed to improving the care and delivering a primary care service.

“The report details why the CQC have deemed the practice as inadequate and we are addressing the failings in the report.”