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Care Quality Commission places Sidings Medical Practice in Boston into special measures after rating GP surgery inadequate

A GP surgery has been placed into special measures to protect patients, but improvements are being made.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has rated the Sidings Medical Practice in Boston, inadequate and placed it into special measures to protect people, following an inspection in October and December. The report was published today (Wednesday, March 27).

The Sidings Medical Practice is part of Omnes Healthcare Ltd and provides primary medical services to people within a five-mile radius of Boston town centre, in Lincolnshire.

Sidings Medical Practice in Boston. Photo: Google
Sidings Medical Practice in Boston. Photo: Google

This inspection was carried out in response to concerns shared with CQC about the practice.

Following the inspection, the Sidings Medical Practice has been rated as inadequate overall and for being safe and well-led. Effective and responsive were rated as requires improvement, and caring has been rated as good. This was the first inspection since the provider took over this practice.

Due to the seriousness of the issues found at this inspection, CQC took urgent action and served two warning notices as well as imposing conditions on the provider’s registration around systems and processes for actioning correspondence, as well as having a suitably qualified person available five days a week to provide leadership and oversight of the practice.

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The service has been placed in special measures, which means it will be kept under close review by CQC to keep people safe, and it will continue to monitor the practice to check sufficient improvements are being made.

Greg Rielly, CQC deputy director of operations in the Midlands, said: “When we inspected the Sidings Medical Practice, we were concerned to find leaders couldn’t demonstrate they had the capacity and skills to deliver high quality care. There was no registered manager in place and staff told us they didn’t feel supported by Omnes Healthcare Ltd, which was impacting on the level of care they were providing to people.

“Our inspectors found the practice didn’t have effective processes in place to ensure enough emergency equipment was available in line with regulations. The emergency grab bag was found with no stethoscope, pulse oximeter, thermometer, or adequate personal protective equipment (PPE). It was also unsealed, meaning there was a risk that equipment could be missing during an emergency which could put people at risk of harm.

“Additionally, we found blood tests for five people, indicating they may have an undiagnosed chronic kidney disease which hadn’t been either identified or investigated. Therefore, they weren’t being considered for any treatment, or being monitored to prevent any long-term harm.

“However, since the inspection, the provider has informed us they have made a number of improvements around maintenance issues and infection, prevention and control. They have also been working closely with the local integrated care board to ensure people are receiving safe care.

“We will continue to monitor the practice closely to make sure further improvements are carried out urgently. If we are not assured that people are receiving safe care, we won’t hesitate to take further action.”

Inspectors found:

• The environment was poorly maintained and did not have good infection prevention and control (IPC).

• The facilities and premises were not appropriate for the services being delivered.

• The practice did not have clear and effective processes for managing risks, issues, and performance.

• Inspectors weren’t assured that staff employed within the practice had been recruited in accordance with regulations.

• There were gaps in training which the practice deemed mandatory such as safeguarding and IPC.

• People presenting with symptoms which could indicate serious illness were not always followed up in a timely and appropriate way.

• There was a significant backlog of processing incoming correspondence to the practice.


• The practice was responsive to the needs of older people and offered home visits and urgent appointments for those with enhanced needs and complex medical issues.

• Additional weekend appointments were available on Saturdays for school age children so that they did not need to miss school.

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