A village GP practice has been placed in ‘special measures’ following an inspection by health watchdogs.
The ruling was made after inspectors from the Care Quality Commission visited Rudgwick Medical Centre in January.
The CQC said the practice was rated as ‘inadequate’ overall and deemed inadequate in providing safe and well-led services. They were rated as ‘requiring improvement’ in providing effective and responsive services, but rated ‘good’ in caring.
The medical centre will now be visited again by inspectors in six months to see if improvements have been made.
Among their findings, the inspectors found that the practice also did not have a policy in place for the safe storage and management of medicines requiring refrigeration. And a fire safety incident had shown that not all staff were clear about their responsibilities in the event of a fire.
CQC spokesman Ruth Rankine said: “Rudgwick Medical Centre did not have a clear leadership structure in place to deliver high quality care which everyone is entitled to receive from their GP practice.
“While patients said the practice treated them with care and respect, they were at risk of harm because systems currently in place were not embedded well enough to keep them safe. For example, opportunities to learn and improve from incidents and concerns were missed.
“For this and other areas of concern we are placing the practice into special measures - so opening the way for the practice to receive support from NHS England among others.”
She said further action would be considered if no improvements were made when the next inspection is scheduled in six months’ time.
In a statement, the practice said: “At Rudgwick Medical Centre, we have always strived to provide the best possible service for our patients and we are very disappointed that the Care Quality Commission has found that some of our policies and procedures do not meet the required standards.
“We are pleased the practice has been rated ‘good’ for providing a caring service, but the CQC report has detailed the further work we must now do to improve the processes we have in place, so that we can provide the best possible patient care.
“Our team at the practice is committed to making the necessary improvements for our patients and has already addressed many of the areas for improvement identified by the CQC.”