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Lakeside Healthcare Stamford faces enforcement action after Care Quality Commission inspection

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Enforcement action is being taken against Lakeside Healthcare Stamford by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), which inspected its GP services last month.

Although a full report of its findings will not be made public until August, the CQC has said: "Since the inspection we have served enforcement action on Lakeside Healthcare at Stamford and they are required to submit fortnightly action plans on their progress."

Enforcement action is served by the CQC if it finds that a registered provider or manager is "in breach of the regulations".

St Mary's Medical Centre is used by Lakeside Healthcare Stamford
St Mary's Medical Centre is used by Lakeside Healthcare Stamford

Lakeside Healthcare Stamford operates Sheepmarket Surgery off Ryhall Road and uses the St Mary's Medical Centre building off Wharf Road. It is the only provider of NHS GP services in the town and has about 30,000 registered patients.

The CQC visited it in early June after hundreds of complaints had been made by patients, particularly over the amount of time spent waiting in long phone queues to make medical appointments.

CQC inspectors give GP practices a rating after an inspection: outstanding, good, requires improvement or inadequate. Lakeside Stamford had been 'good' in September 2019 - a new rating will be made public next month.

Stamford Hospital sign (42271115)
Stamford Hospital sign (42271115)

The CQC, which also inspects care homes and non-NHS healthcare providers, states: "People who use services have the right to expect high-quality, safe, effective and compassionate care.

"Where care falls below this standard and is judged to be inadequate it is essential that the service improves quickly for the benefit of people using the service."

Lakeside Healthcare Stamford will now have to show the inspectors what it is doing to improve its patient care.

Lakeside is run by a board based in Corby and the chief medical officer, Miles Langdon, is a GP.

Andrew Nebel, chairman of Better Healthcare for Stamford
Andrew Nebel, chairman of Better Healthcare for Stamford

A petition launched by the group Better Healthcare for Stamford is calling for a second GP provider to be set up in the town, so patients have choice.

The group says it is "encouraged to learn the CQC has recognised the gravity of the situation at Lakeside Stamford" adding that it hoped the interventions will remedy the situation quickly.

Better Healthcare for Stamford chairman, Andrew Nebel added: "We further hope that the whole Lakeside Stamford saga will provoke the NHS to review both its GP commissioning strategy and its compliance arrangements to prevent the same problems occurring in future, and reinforce the message that local GP monopolies do not best serve communities.

"Patient choice encourages practices to be the best."

Better Healthcare for Stamford will continue to campaign for another GP practice to be set up in Stamford, and points out that Bourne, a smaller community than Stamford, has the choice of two practices, one of which recently won a national award for excellence.

A spokesman for Lakeside Healthcare Stamford said: "GP Partners and staff at Lakeside Healthcare Stamford, with the support of the wider Lakeside family have, and are continuing, to work closely with the CQC and Clinical Commissioning Group with regard to its practices in Stamford.”

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