'Patients are seeing a difference': Central Healthcare in Scarborough improving as it comes out of special measures

A Scarborough GP practice is no longer in special measures and has had its health watchdog rating upgraded.

By Sarah Fitton
Friday, 22nd January 2021, 12:37 pm
Updated Friday, 22nd January 2021, 12:40 pm

Central Healthcare, which runs Lawrence House Medical Centre off Falsgrave Road and Peasholm Surgery on Tennyson Avenue, was told it could face closure if it did not improve following an ‘Inadequate’ rating by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The CQC had identified four breaches of regulations and ordered that changes be made.

But the watchdog’s latest findings, published following an inspection in October, have led to Central Healthcare’s rating being raised to “Requires Improvement”, and the practice being taken out of special measures.

Dr Alastair Crosswaite, and receptionist/administrators Christina Fox-Freeman and Lauren Taylor. Image: Copyright ©DCimaging Darren Casey.

Dr Alistair Crosswaite, GP Partner at Central Healthcare, said: “The report tells us that we’re starting to see improvements here at Central Healthcare and are on ‘a trajectory of improvement’.

"It recognises the progress made over an incredibly short period, during an exceedingly challenging time for everyone.

“We’ve been taken out of special measures, having addressed all the areas which were found to be inadequate early last year. This is good news for both patients and staff.

Clockwise from top left: Dr Deepankar Datt; Dr Simona Gheorghiu; practice nurse Christine Jaques; Health Care Assistant Lisa Birkinshaw. Images: Copyright ©DCimaging Darren Casey.

"What is more important to us is that our patients are now telling us they’re starting to see a difference.

“And we’re confident that in 2021 they will see more marked improvements to our services as we continue to invest in the practice.

“The people of Scarborough deserve high quality care and we will drive further improvements to make this an outstanding practice.”

Inspectors found that the breaches they identified previously had been addressed and “the practice provided care in a way that kept patients safe and protected them from avoidable harm”.

Retired Central Healthcare GP 85-year-old Ronnie Kok receiving his coronavirus vaccine at Lawrence House.

Their report also said: “We saw that the practice was on a trajectory of improvement seeing new roles and systems being put in place to promote good governance and management.

"However, some of these systems were not fully embedded into the practice.”

The inspectors did say patients had struggled to get through to the practice on the phone and to book appointments,

They also said the monitoring of care and treatment for patients who were prescribed high risk medicine was not always acted on quickly enough.

Since last year’s CQC report, Central Healthcare has partnered with Haxby Group – rated “Outstanding” by the watchdog – as part of work aimed at improving care.

It has also been granted a request to close its surgery on Prospect Road, which it said was “no longer suitable for the delivery of patient care”.

Other improvements it has planned include a new digital telephone system and online access service, which it says will “revolutionise” how patients contact them and reduce the length of time people have to wait to get an appointment.

Staff are undergoing training aimed at increasing their confidence and helping them support patients better, and more administrators, clinicians and healthcare professionals are being recruited.

Central Healthcare is celebrating vaccinating all of its patients who are over 80 against Covid-19.

It has completed the first phase of its immunisation and is ready to move onto the next.

All patients who are over 80 have now had their first jab.

The next step is making appointments for second doses for those pensioners and inviting those aged 75 and over to have their vaccinations.