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Patients at Lakeside Stamford invited to take part in survey before next CQC inspection

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Patients of an ‘inadequate’ GP surgery are being asked for their views ahead of its reinspection.

Lakeside Healthcare, which runs the Sheepmarket Surgery and the St Mary’s Medical Centre in Stamford, was given an ‘inadequate’ rating in August after Care Quality Commission inspectors found it was failing to keep patients safe.

Surgery managers were told to rectify poor access to appointments, put in a new phone system and improve responses to patient feedback.

The Sheepmarket Surgery off Ryhall Road Stamford
The Sheepmarket Surgery off Ryhall Road Stamford

They were also told a reinspection would happen within six months.

A mini inspection in September did not result in the ‘inadequate’ rating being overturned, and a full inspection is due by the end of this month.

In preparation, Healthwatch Lincolnshire is supporting the Care Quality Commission through an anonymous survey of patients, who are being asked about their experiences over the past six months, particularly about making appointments and the care they have received.

The CQC has rated Lakeside Stamford as Inadequate
The CQC has rated Lakeside Stamford as Inadequate

The results will be shared with the Care Quality Commission, which inspects and rates GP surgeries using five standards: outstanding, good, requires improvement, and inadequate.

The Care Quality Commission has said that if Lakeside continues to have an ‘inadequate’ rating after its next inspection, it would start the process of preventing Lakeside from operating patient services in

Dean Odell, contract coordinator for Healthwatch Lincolnshire, said the survey had attracted 700 responses this week and will be shared more widely from Monday.

He added: “We encourage the patients of Lakeside Stamford to share their views to help better understand what impact and improvements have been made for patients since the last Care Quality Commission inspection.

“There are clearly areas that still require improvement for patients and this survey provides an opportunity for patients to share their real and honest patient experiences that will allow Lakeside Stamford to work with the Care Quality Commission, Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group and their own patient participation group to focus their effort to improve care and access for patients in Stamford.”

Teri White, hub manager at Lakeside Stamford, said: “We value patient feedback and meet regularly with our patient participation group, who also represent the views and interests of patients, to maintain an open and positive dialogue.

"And, although we have not commissioned this survey, it will provide a further forum for the community and will doubtless inform our ongoing drive to improve.

“The team here have worked tirelessly over the past few months to improve systems and procedures, including updating the telephone system and implementing a new management structure.

"We will also welcome a new member of the management team imminently.

“These current and planned changes have been carried out while providing core services, supporting the covid booster vaccination programme and dealing with a huge upsurge in demand.

“We remain committed to giving our patients the best possible service given the many constraints we have already faced, and are currently working to overcome, and look forward to seeing the results of this survey.”

Helen Walton from the PPG
Helen Walton from the PPG

Helen Walton, chairman of Lakeside Stamford Patient Participation Group, which is designed to aid communication between staff and patients, said GPs and nurses were working incredibly hard during what has been a “the most chaotic six weeks” for the team because so many members of staff are off sick.

She added that Lakeside staff “could not have done more” to turn around the ‘inadequate’ rating and said feedback she was hearing from patients was now “more positive than negative” with people getting through on the phone more quickly - although appointment procedures still needed to be clearer.

Coun Richard Cleaver
Coun Richard Cleaver

Independent Lincolnshire county councillor for Stamford West, Richard Cleaver, welcomed the launch of the survey.

He is on the Lincolnshire Health Scrutiny Committee and works towards improved healthcare in the town through Stamford Health Education and Awareness Charity.

He said: “I hope that this survey, coupled with the Care Quality Commission’s forthcoming inspection of Lakeside Stamford will lead to permanent and tangible improvements to primary care in Stamford and restore patients’ confidence in our local services.”

To take the survey visit: https://tinyurl.com/LakesideSurveyJanuary2022

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