Lister House branded inadequate following government inspection

Health / Thu 23rd Jun 2022 at 08:39am

A GP practice in Harlow has been rated inadequate by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and placed in special measures, following an inspection in May.

Lister Medical Centre, Harlow, was inspected as part of CQC’s ongoing checks on the levels of care and treatment provided to people.

At the inspection, concerns were found relating to staffing levels, waiting times, the management of risks, the storage of medicines and the management of high-risk medicines – all of which were putting patients at risk of harm.

As well as being rated inadequate overall following the inspection, the practice was rated inadequate for being safe, effective, responsive to people’s needs and well-led. It was rated good for being caring.

Due to the issues inspectors found, CQC served the practice a warning notice, in order to focus them on making rapid and widespread improvements to keep people safe.

As it is now in special measures, the service will be kept under close review by CQC. It will be inspected again within six months to assess whether improvements have been made.

If insufficient improvement is made, CQC will take further enforcement action to ensure patients are not exposed to avoidable risk of harm. In the most serious of circumstances, this could include preventing the practice from providing care and treatment to people.

Andy Brand, CQC’s head of inspection for primary medical services said:

“Our inspection found standards of care at Lister Medical Centre were well below those people have a right to expect due to staff shortages and a lack of effective leadership.

“Staff weren’t equipped to deal with medical emergencies and they hadn’t all received adequate safeguarding training to protect patients from abuse. We also found there was no effective way for staff to identify vulnerable patients, which meant people weren’t receiving the support they needed. 

“It was difficult for people to access appointments and treatment, and there were delays in dealing with their referrals and test results.

“Leaders also failed to demonstrate they had the skills to deliver high quality, sustainable care.  

“Our priority is to keep people safe, and the practice knows what it must improve.

“We will reinspect the service again in the coming months to assess whether the practice is compliant with its legal obligations, and to ensure a safe and high-quality service is being provided to all patients.”

Finding at the inspection included:

  • Systems and processes to keep people safe were not effective.
  • There weren’t enough staff, so it was difficult for patients to access appointments.
  • There were delays in referrals and test results.
  • Appropriate recruitment checks hadn’t always been carried out to ensure staff were suitable for their roles.
  • Staff weren’t equipped to respond to medical emergencies.
  • Medicines were not stored securely, and the management of high-risk medicines wasn’t safe.
  • Patient treatment wasn’t always regularly reviewed and updated.
  • Vulnerable patients could not be easily identified.
  • Patients with long-term conditions hadn’t been proactively monitored throughout the pandemic.
  • Complaints were not managed effectively and learning from incidents wasn’t routinely shared with all staff.
  • Childhood immunisations and cervical cancer screenings were below the national average.
  • There was poor leadership at the service.

The full report can be found on CQC’s website.

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38 Comments for Lister House branded inadequate following government inspection:

Nicholas Taylor
2022-06-23 09:19:23

I visited the surgery this morning to find that staff are now dealing with patients at the ground floor reception again. There was no queue, there were a number of people waiting to see a doctor and the gentleman who dealt with my enquiry was very helpful. We can all only hope that the issue of a warning notice will ensure that improvements throughout the service are made asap.

2022-06-23 09:27:20

This is hardly a surprise, it can take over an hour on the phone only to be told there are no appointments in the next six weeks or they call you 5 minutes before closing to cancel a next day appointment so you've no hope of rebooking it. It was like this even before the COVID pandemic, so this is nothing new. When patients can get in i'm sure that they can be cared for, but these findings about the care once through is very worrying. With all this, it's hardly a surprise that patients who need care are finding themselves in A&E for non urgent treatment as there is nowhere else to go because of this utter shambles of a healthcare practice. I'm glad the CQC have finally made this public, although it should have been done years ago. Given these historical issues i very much doubt much will change in the next 6 months and if they do, it'll be a box ticking exercise to get through but the experience patients feel won't change. Why oh why can't Harlow invest more in a tertiary care to bridge that gap between A&E and the GP practice so non urgent things are not clogging up the GP surgery or indeed A&E?

sandra hassan
2022-06-23 09:30:31

Lets hope they look at Addison House soon, same issues as this.

2022-06-23 11:26:05

Also Eden surgery Hatfield Heath

2022-06-23 11:26:31

Also Eden surgery Hatfield Heath

Stephen Patrick
2022-06-23 11:41:04

They've only just re opened reception again. Must've knew this report was coming out.

2022-06-23 12:03:17

I’m really not surprised. The service was so much better when it was across the road from the new building. They have too many patients now and they can’t deal with the capacity. Wait times to get through to someone on the phone are over an hour which is a joke. Let’s hope this inspection will get things running how it should.

2022-06-23 12:50:38

Not surprised, usually wait for 1 and half hour on phone, never see a Dr, I now ignor all symptoms because waste of time calling, I struggle to discuss things with Dr on phone or the usual health care worker , give up

fed up
2022-06-23 14:43:53

nuffield house no better

2022-06-23 14:59:11

It's about time My doctor is never available to see I can count only two occasions that I have seen them. I also agree with comments about making appointments it is so hard I give up now despite giving long term issues which are managed by a quick phone call from someone who had never examined me. I hope that this is the first step to getting a service we expect.

2022-06-23 15:58:20

Since Lister Medical Centre moved to the new premises the service got worse. I have written to the Practice manager on several occasions not all positive outcomes. I have not seen my doctor since 2018, with my chronic illnesses I have been referred by the surgery so that was positive but no follow ups by the surgery. It's almost as if you're not our concern any more. Since beginning of June I have been ringing the surgery to get an appointment but either there was 1-2 hour wait or you was cut off because of the maximum callers were waiting I believe 40. The surgery has not advertised the change of circumstance of appointment making. Let's see the 'improvements'. Perhaps a change of partners and practice manager may make difference

Jenny Broad
2022-06-23 16:04:37

I did manage to get a face to face appointment, but getting through on the phone was ridiculous I. Had 25 people in front of me, got down to one and then got cut off. Also when I went none of the check in machines were working.

2022-06-23 17:08:41

Things got so bad that I had to change docters the one I’m at is so much better

R Lucia
2022-06-23 17:54:38

Nothing new. Since it has been open it has been the same. Needs new management!

2022-06-23 17:57:00

Nothing new. Since it has been open it has been the same. Needs new management!

2022-06-23 18:20:57

I have not seen the doctor I was assigned to, in 3 years, apart from a 5 minute appointment for a flu jab. I have an ongoing condition which thankfully is managed by repeat medication, but my reviews which are very in-frequent are set up with practise nurses, not a doctor. I have waited 1 hour plus to get an appointment and have NEVER seen a doctor. This can't be how a surgery should be expected to perform. It should also have been realised by the staff who carry out the day to day business of the surgery and its patents. If not, why not. I'll wait to see if there is any improvement, before deciding if I should switch to a surgery that gets doctors to see their patients, and staff who want to take care of the patients under their responsibility.

2022-06-23 19:51:15

I switched drs it was appalling and my 86 year old mum is not deemed worthy of dr appoint just gets fobbed off with a nurse it was her pharmacist that told her the meds were making her I’ll the nurse just said oh I don’t know what that is it is appalling and the receptionist seem to block appointments asking far too many personal questions

2022-06-23 20:12:06

Not surprised. Cant get through on the phone, can't see a GP and in the past when making a complaint, no response from the Practice Manager. They are a joke.

2022-06-23 20:31:40

I'm not surprised my son was on hold for 1hr for an emergency Dr's appointment to be told none are avaliable at 3pm in the afternoon and to call back in the morning, if he felt worse ring 111 or go to A&E. The previous day I was on hold for 1hr 20mins because all my repeat medication hadn't been sent over to the pharmacy, no apology from them just a reply from the other end of the phone saying "erm OK I have sent it over, it should be ready for collection by this evening"

John Conyard
2022-06-23 22:29:43

I am a 66 year old disabled and vulnerable man. I live with my 80 year old wife, who is also vulnerable. Through the pandemic and beyond, i have had so many frustrations with the way that Lister House is run. The initial nightmare just getting through to them on the phone, if you are lucky you will get through and be number 25 in the waiting queue. When you eventually get through, no matter how hard you try, you will not get a face to face appointment with your GP. One time, when I got through after trying all morning to get through, the receptionist said she had been on the phone to a care home for an hour, that’s why I couldn’t get through! There’s supposed to be sixteen people manning the phones? The receptionist reads off of a script, and tells you an out of hours doctor will you in a week or so, and he’ll determine if you need to be seen. I’ve had this situation several times, and IF the doctor rings you, and he understands you need to see your GP, he tells you to ring the surgery and make an appoint! So i ring the surgery, and I’m told i can’t see a doctor face to face, i can get a call from an out of hours doctor, every time! I’ve been quite ill, and have oncology issues and more, and all i get, like everyone else, is fobbed off, and they hope you just go away, stop bothering them. A few weeks ago, i decided to make an effort to go into the surgery to make an appointment at the desk, but they were closed for dinner! Unbelievable, they have no staff so they can’t split lunch break times. I waited u til they opened again, and asked the strange receptionist for a face to face appointment with my GP, no chance. Reading from the script i got the same old story about out of hours doctors ringing me. I did get verbally loud, and said about the GP’s here earning £83K a year, and never hear. I got nowhere. Another elderly, frail man, was having a row about the same thing with another receptionist. Two receptionists, no doctors. Eventually, one receptionists listened to me, and see that the doctor had put on the notes that I needed to see a GP. This next bit made me so angry and made me feel embarrassed. She called out to the receptionist i was talking with, ( we were in the waiting room with others ) “Oh, Mr Conyard has got a very bad rash, and needs to see the doctor! “. Everyone sniggered, i was fuming! The state of this place is so poor, nobody seems interested in helping you. It’s disgraceful. I wonder how many people have actually died because they got no help at all from this place. I think the governing bodies need to clear all of the staff from here, all of them, and train up people to care about the patients and enjoy their jobs.

2022-06-23 23:30:19

I'd like to know how much longer the 2nd lift is going to be out of action? The useable one has 2 of 4 blown bulbs & recently, to call the lift upstairs, you had to put your finger in the hole as the button had gone into the panel (electrocution potential!). I've seen better maintained lifts in scummy tower blocks, yet this was promised to be an all singing & dancing fancy new building. It's a disgrace. I wondered why the downstairs had suddenly been reopened, must've had a tip off that inspectors were due! I waited over an hour to see a GP the other week, she apologised saying she'd been with another patient, yet I'd seen her wandering back & forth twice while I was waiting, my ailment was not blindness! So that was a blatant lie... Yet we're putting our health in these peoples hands!? On another occasion, the GP came from downstairs & asked me to come to her room, expecting me to use the stairs when I'm disabled, the shutter was closed downstairs so I explained I'd need to use the lift, instead she went & collected her equipment & brought it upstairs. I wait over an hour each time to get through, in fact, once I started to call them & whilst waiting, I drove to the petrol station, filled up, went in to pay leaving my phone in the hands free holder, drove home & still waited over 30 minutes to get an answer! I've even showered & washed my hair whilst waiting before now. Disgusting service. Stop accepting all & sundry, as you clearly cannot cope, nor offer a good service to those already registered.

2022-06-23 23:42:47

The car park needs a rethink too. Why are there no dropped kerbs around the disabled parking? You have to cross on the crossing then go into the road at an angle to get a wheelchair to the car. I struggle to step down kerbs, so I have to walk in the road to get to my car. Also; that car park needs monitoring, people are using the blue bays to wait for service users who are quite clearly able bodied. I had to park down near the staff parking once & it was so painful walking that far for me, I don't cope well with gradients & have breathing issues, plus I have mobility issues in general & took me ages, making me late for my appointment. Why not wait in Staple Tye or GPCA car park? Most people nowadays have a mobile phone to alert when ready to leave.

2022-06-24 08:07:12

Agree with all the above. Appalling service. We have spent many hours waiting on the phone only to be cut off or standing around upstairs. I have an ongoing problem with my legs - feel abandoned and left to put up with. I would like to know how Maria managed to change surgeries. I tried in vain - was told I was out of Bush Fair's catchment area. I thought we could choose where we went!!

Fay Gillam
2022-06-24 08:51:39

Not surprised at all I lodged a serious complaint in writing and over phone in November due to the dangerous lack of care shown to my mum which ended up with her in hospital with life threatening sepsis and nearly 7 months on I am still waiting to speak with manager was palmed off with her secretary which I refused and have been waiting since utter disgraceful behaviour.

2022-06-24 13:09:34

I have the greatest sympathy for all of these patients whose care, and welfare is suffering because of various reasons, it seems that their health care, is, unfit for purpose. I feel very fortunate that I have Jenner House surgery caring for my family, they cannot be faulted for anything, indeed, it's a superb surgery with excellent attention from all staff, which in these times makes me feel very grateful. Perhaps the patients of the Lister House surgery could organise a petition, to our MP, Robert Halfon

2022-06-24 14:55:03

For whatever reason( I think money/covid), all the GP services in the country seem to be struggling to do their basic function. The main problem seems to be getting a face to face appointment. It seems they are still caught up in the Covid paranoia, and the receptionists think they are running the surgery.

2022-06-24 16:27:55

If they close Lister House where will all the patients go instead ? Perhaps they actually need more staff and more support is this just a clever way of getting rid of Nhs Gp appointments! The same as the dentists in Harlow where we can’t register with an nhs dentist and if you need treatment you have to go private. So instead of criticising the staff at Lister we should ask what’s really going on.

2022-06-24 19:11:03

Eden? It’s a really good surgery, can’t praise it highly by enough

2022-06-24 19:11:59

Eden? It’s a really good surgery, can’t praise it highly enough

David Carter
2022-06-25 07:39:30

Like all these practices Those at the Top take home money in sacks But those at the bottom are poorly paid, poorly trained, why because training etc costs money. And that could mean less for those at the top. Always look how the money is spent. GPs is it £100k £150k £200 k or even more

2022-06-25 08:07:56

Worst surgery in Harlow , I get my prescription from wych elm pharmacy now , so quick !!!

2022-06-25 09:18:02

The CQC and the GOVERMENT need to do one. You don't work in these [places so you don't no how bad staff is so we can't do EVERYTHING to your pleasure. GROW UP all you government and cqc people and piss off because no one likes you. Your all a disgrace and your family should be ashamed off you!

William Browne
2022-06-25 16:29:55

Why do the doctors (if you can see or talk to one) only deal with one complaint at a time. If you have a number of problems they be connected.

2022-06-25 19:35:10

Totally agree with all comments. I needed to make appointment for my kids or my self and never ever was there a queue less than an hour. But I had a very swift action following my breast lump scare. Was seen within an hour by GP and send for further investigation within 2 weeks. However i just try to ignore anything really as cannot go through all the agro

2022-06-25 21:23:45

On countless occasions, new patient registrations for vulnerable adults and children despite being hand delivered several times... direct to the reception team are then said not to have been received? Having raised this, it continued to happen possibly due to staff not knowing what they need to do with the registration forms. Question is where has all the personal information ended up, DATA protection policy clearly not something of significance to Lister House. CQC outcome will hopefully improve the assessed incompetence. On a positive note, the actual Doctors of the evening - out of hours service are consistently excellent.

2022-06-26 08:01:11

are any of the others any better?

John Leijs
2022-07-01 07:53:02

The Doctors and reception do a great job but it’s a pity that since the current practice manager was appointed standards of service in respect of appointments have deteriorated. I’ve been a patient for 50 years and recognise the problems with the nhs which never seem to be addressed. If gp surgeries did more maybe it would relieve the pressure on the local hospital

John Leijs
2022-09-01 14:45:57

Two months on and nothing seems to have improved, surprise surprise

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