You may have read in the news this week that the first national inspection of more than 900 GP surgeries in England has found one in three is failing to meet basic standards. The checks were targeted mainly at those practices deemed to be high risk ahead of next year’s rollout of the first national GP inspection regime.

Among the problems identified across the board, concerns were raised about the way medicines were managed in a GP Surgery in Lincolnshire and there had been errors in the supply of medicines to patients.

The Care Quality Commission, who conducted the inspection, highlighted that many surgeries stocked emergency drugs until they were out of date and they were keeping vaccines in fridges that were not properly regulated, which could damage the effectiveness of the jab and cause outbreaks of disease.

It appeared to be that the problems highlighted in the checks had sometimes been known about locally for years and when commenting on the findings, a spokesman from the CQC said “we are hearing about problems that people are very worried about but no-one has tackled in the past. We need to make sure that everyone, from the most well-off to the most disadvantaged, can get access to really good care.”

The Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, said that people have the right to expect that they will receive the best possible standard of care from their GP. While most GP surgeries do an excellent job, there is a small number who must improve their standards so that they are delivering the best quality care to their patients.

An example of patients not receiving the highest possible standards of treatment includes when their GP fails to diagnose a condition, or the diagnosis is delayed, because they have not taken a detailed enough history from the patient or further investigated any symptoms they present with. This can have serious consequences for a patient and often means that their recovery from the condition is severely affected. GPs have also been known to prescribe inappropriate or ineffective medicines to patients, when it would have been a simple matter for them to check their records and see what that patient actually needed.

In either of the above situations, the patient may have been able to bring a claim for medical negligence against their GP to be awarded compensation for the pain and suffering they went through as the result of not receiving the right treatment.

If you think your GP has been negligent in their treatment of you or a family member, contact us at Ringrose Law and we will provide you with free advice on whether or not you may have a claim for medical negligence.

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