GP surgery failed to keep patient records secure.

Prescot Medical Centre
Prescot Medical Centre

A Prescot GP surgery was rapped by the care watchdog after it failed to keep patient records secure.

Inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) criticised the Dr Heath Prescot Medical Centre for breaching healthcare regulations by leaving copies of patient records on open shelves in a room that could be accessed by people who did not work for the surgery.

The practice shares its premises in Sewell Street with another GP surgery and the Prescot Primary Care Resource Centre.

Rating the surgery as ‘requires improvement’, inspectors said: “Medical records waiting to be scanned into a patient’s electronic file were not kept safe and secure, these records were stored on open shelves in a room frequented by staff who were not employed by the practice.

“There was no control or monitor over how and when these files were accessed or by whom.”

The inspectors also criticised Prescot Medical Centre’s management of prescriptions, saying it was not possible to tell if prescriptions had gone missing, adding: “Access to prescriptions was not limited to authorised staff in that prescriptions were stored on an open shelf in a room which, though locked, was accessible to people who were not employed by the practice.”

However, while the practice was rated “requires improvement” overall, inspectors said it was both effective and caring.

They praised the surgery’s “capacity to deliver high-quality care” and its “open and listening culture”.

A spokesperson for NHS Knowsley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “The CCG notes the findings of the Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection report relating to Prescot Medical Centre, published today (21 January 2020).

“The CCG is committed to ensuring that the people of Knowsley receive the highest quality health services and will be working closely with the practice as it implements any associated remedial action plans.

“The CCG will be seeking assurance that these plans fully address all of the concerns contained in the CQC report.”