News ID: 2505
Published: 1129 GMT September 30, 2014

Up to 200 GP surgeries warned of closure over ‘unsafe’ care

Up to 200 GP surgeries warned of closure over ‘unsafe’ care

Britain’s chief inspector of family doctors has warned that up to 200 general practitioner (GP) surgeries face closure or may be targeted by special measures following the provision of dangerous care to thousands of patients.

Steve Field said Tuesday the Care Quality Commission had conducted inspections at GP surgeries and found that up to 200 practices in England were failing and thus face being shut down or placed on measures such as closer tv reported.

Field added that some of the medical facilities would shut down due to “serious failings” and others would be given a year to improve or be closed.

During the commission’s inspections, officials found cases of late referrals for patients suspected of suffering from cancer, with potentially dangerous consequences. The inspectors also found cases of wrong medicines being prescribed to patients as well as over-prescription of antibiotics.

In addition, they found practices having out-of date and unhygienic premises, staff shortages and “chaotic management” and at one surgery in Nottinghamshire, inspectors had found maggots.

Field vowed to take action against unsafe surgeries even if politicians protested the closure of their local GP surgeries.

“While there is a small number of practices which are very worrying… they can affect hundreds or thousands of patients potentially,” said Field, adding, “So this is very serious.”

Chaand Nagpaul, the chairman of the British Medical Association (BMA)’s GP committee, also said many surgeries are working in “extremely difficult and challenging” environments.

Nagpaul also admitted that many GP practices are located “in premises that are not fit for purpose;” however, they are unable to relocate as “there are no funds” to cover moving costs.

The current UK government launched austerity measures, such as cuts to the NHS, when it came to power in 2010 in a bid to tackle the country’s mounting debt and sluggish growth. Since then, over 7,000 NHS clinical staff members, including doctors and nurses, have been made redundant.

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