Harley Street practice rated ‘inadequate’ by CQC

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has rated Harley Street Healthcare Clinic from ‘good’ to ‘inadequate’ overall, and has placed the practice in special measures.

Harley Street Healthcare Clinic (HSHC) is a private general medical practice offering a range of services to patients such as routine medical checks, health screening, private prescriptions, adult immunisations, travel vaccinations and blood tests.

The watchdog carried out an unannounced inspection on 17 November 2020 in response to concerns about the safety of the service. During this visit, inspectors identified a number of issues and returned to carry out a further unannounced inspection the following week. 

Inspectors found the systems to manage infection prevention and control were not effective, staff did not always have the information they needed to deliver safe care and treatment to patients, complaints and concerns were not managed appropriately, and the service did not respond to them properly to improve the quality of care.

CQC inspectors also found staff were not properly trained in relation to governance systems or safeguarding children.

The watchdog has told the service it must ensure persons employed in the provision of the regulated activity receive the appropriate support, training, professional development, supervision and appraisal necessary to enable them to carry out their duties.

‘During our inspection of Harley Street Healthcare Clinic we found that the service did not have effective systems or processes in place to ensure good governance and meet fundamental standards of care,’ said Vicki Wells, CQC’s deputy chief inspector for primary medical services.

Sanjeev Kumar, executive director of HSHC said: ‘Some of the findings in the assessment report has surprised us, for example, HSHC’s private GP practice has never looked after children, so our staff weren’t trained to keep children safe at the practice.

‘But on the suggestion of CQC, we have now fully trained our staff in child safety and they are fully certified, even though we do not intend to provide child care at the practice.

‘Having said that, we do agree with CQC’s finding that during the pandemic some of our services may not have been as effective. And we have already taken steps to fix that. The work with CQC is still ongoing, and we are extremely confident of securing a strong rating from CQC in the next few months.’