Four urgent care treatment centres run by Partnership of East London Co-operatives (PELC) Limited have been rated ‘inadequate’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and put in special measures.
The centres, King George’s Emergency Urgent Care Centre (EUCC) in Goodmayes, Queens Urgent Treatment Centre in Romford, Harold Wood Urgent Treatment Centre in Harold Wood, and Barking Urgent Treatment Centre in Barking, were inspected in October and November 2022, and inspectors found patients were “routinely waiting more than two hours for a clinical assessment.”
Two of the centres are attached to hospital emergency departments and treat the majority of patients that arrive with minor injuries and illnesses.
The CQC director for London, Jane Ray said that, “Although each service suffered from short staffing, which was a factor behind the long waits and an issue affecting the NHS more widely, PELC’s leaders must prioritise meeting NHS England’s standard of clinically assessing people within 15 minutes of arrival.”
Ms Ray added: “Behind this [failure] was the failure of the service’s leaders to effectively monitor issues the services faced, including waiting times, to inform their strategies to meet people’s needs.”
The CQC noted that PELC had last conducted a comprehensive workforce planning exercise five years ago and now rota gaps constituted at least 10% for doctors and at least 20% for nurses.
However, the CQC rated the services good for being caring, as “despite the pressure they were under, staff in each service treated people with kindness, respect and compassion.”
The special measures rating means the CQC will closely monitor the services and they will be inspected again in the coming months to assess whether improvements have been made.
Following a system-wide CQC review of east London’s urgent and emergency care in November 2021, King George’s Emergency Urgent Care Centre was previously rated ‘good’ and the other services were rated ‘requires improvement’.
PELC is a not-for-profit organisation formed in 2004 by local GPs, that delivers UTCs across east London and west Essex, under a contract with the North East London integrated care system (ICS).
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