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A local GP practice has been ruled ‘inadequate’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Kimberlow Hill Surgery in Heslington, York, and Wenlock Terrace near Fulford Road, York, are both run by Unity Health.

Patients were recently emailed to say that a CQC inspection in May had found it had failed to meet national standards in several areas.

In a breach of data protection rules, the practice also accidentally gave each patient the email addresses of 1,200 other patients when they were contacted about the investigation results.

Problems included inadequate arrangements for monitoring and reviewing prescriptions, weaknesses in management of potential risks to patient safety, as well as issues with complaint handling, and systems to monitor staff competency.

There were also severe problems for patients phoning to make appointments which allegedly left some having to get taxis to the surgery so that they could make an appointment in person.

CQC questions asked if serviced were ‘safe’, ‘effective’, ‘responsive’, ‘well-led’ and ‘caring’. The report said that the practice “did not have a good track record on safety”, and that patient feedback was “very poor”.

The report also found that there were serious clinical and reception staff shortages, and that not all staff had the skills, knowledge, or experience to carry out their roles.

The practice said it would be closely monitored by the CQC over coming weeks to ensure it acted quickly to address its shortcomings.

They said: “Naturally, this news comes as a huge disappointment to all of the staff working at Unity Health. We also appreciate that it has the potential to cause you to be concerned and we apologise most sincerely for that.

We wanted to take this opportunity to reassure you and let you know that we are doing everything in our power to put things right quickly and to get a speedy reinspection that will take us out of special measures.”

Some of the changed they have already put in place include; changing the telephone system, taking on new call handling staff, pausing the registration of new patients, overhauling the complaints system, bringing in the support of the Royal College of Practitioners (RCGP), and suspending its online triage system.

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