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Exclusive: Nexus group of GPs still failing to provide ‘safe treatment and care’ but progress has been made

Nexus Health Group is still failing to provide ‘safe treatment and care’, a further Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection has found.

The visit, held on February 13 this year, checked whether the group had acted on concerns raised in November’s series of inspections where a series of safety failings had led to the Southwark primary care provider being rated ‘inadequate’.

The group had been handed two warning notices for breaches of the Health and Social Care Act. In particular, training and skills gaps, and a backlog of tasks including test results left in limbo, were highlighted by inspectors.

In an update published on March 27, inspectors found a backlog of patients who needed their medication reviewed, including some people taking ‘high risk’ medication.

According to the report, although the group had set up systems to ensure treatment was reviewed, this only involved intervention around two or three months after a missed appointment, and did not address how to manage people who routinely failed to attend.

The inspectors said progress had been made in many areas, noting an improvement in general administration including patients’ correspondence and clinical tasks.

Nexus has set up an improved two-week wait referral system, and implemented fire safety and legionella training. There is also improved oversight of emergency equipment.

Inspectors also said prescriptions were now secure and routinely monitored, with a review process set up to check uncollected prescriptions on a regular basis.

However, inspectors say Nexus is still in breach of regulations around its safety of treatment and care, and systems and processes are not in accordance with ‘fundamental standards of care’.

There was one instance where a long-term locum GP had not completed basic life support training in the last year.

As a result the group has been ordered to continue to review its systems and improve locum staff training – and remains ‘inadequate’.

A spokesperson for NHS Southwark CCG said: “The CCG is working with Nexus Health Group to ensure all the issues highlighted by the Care Quality Commission are addressed quickly and comprehensively.

“Nexus has a clear action plan for delivering the necessary improvements and we welcome the progress made thus far.

“We recognise that challenges still exist and are working with the practice to make sure these are rectified, so that patients can be fully assured of high quality, safe, effective and timely care.

“We will continue to monitor these improvements closely.”

A spokesperson for Nexus Health Group said: “The partners of Nexus Health Group are pleased of the recognition of improvement received in the latest CQC report, which has been echoed by other organisations such as Health Education England.

“Partners are aware that patients may continue to have concerns regarding the few outstanding issues raised in the report, and hence our continuous engagement through our various patient groups.

“As previously, we are taking the necessary steps to resolve any outstanding issues.

“An action plan has been implemented to address the areas highlighted and we will continue to review these actions to make sure any issues are rectified.

“We are working together with the CQC and Southwark CCG to build on the changes that have already been delivered to offer our patients and service users the highest level of care.

The CQC will undertake a further inspection visit within six months and we are confident that we will receive an improved rating following that inspection.”



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