INSPECTORS have told a newly-formed medical centre it must improve after the facility’s first visit from the care watchdog.

Watership Down Health, based in Overton but with branches in Oakley and Kingsclere, welcomed the Care Quality Commission (CQC) for an announced inspection on January 28.

The service received a ‘requires improvement’ rating after three of its five elements were deemed sub-par. Those areas were the ‘safe’, ‘effective’ and ‘well-led’ categories.

Among the reasons for its rating, the report noted that the facilities management of medicines and training of staff were not up to standard.

The report said the practice’s system to ensure safety for medicines requiring cold storage “was not embedded” and its monitoring of medicine stock levels “was not effective”. Nor was the practice said to have “proper oversight of staff training”.

It added that the provider must “establish effective systems and processes to ensure good governance in accordance with the fundamental standards of care” and ensure staff “receive appropriate support, training, professional development, supervision and appraisal” to allow them to fulfil their duties.

Watership Down Health was formed in October last year, three months before this visit, following a merger of Kingsclere Medical Practice and the Oakley and Overton Partnership.

Dr Christian Chilcott, GP Partner at Watership Down Health, said despite the criticisms he sees the positives in that the report rated the service ‘good’ in the other two areas.

He said: “Watership Down Health were pleased that CQC have rated the organisation as ‘good’ at providing a caring and responsive service.

“This reflects the hard work and dedication that our staff have put into our newly formed organisation – a recent merger in October 2018 of Kingsclere Surgery and Oakley/ Overton partnership.

“The report shows that Watership Down Health are performing above the national and CCG average in nearly all areas of quality such as the Quality and Outcomes Frameworks, Diabetes Care, Hypertension care, COPD care and cancer care. We were encouraged to see the report indicate that patients are pleased with our service with above national and CCG average scores in the GP patient survey looking at areas such as ease of access and whether their needs are met.

“Watership Down Health continues to innovate in areas such as Wellbeing clinics, a multidisciplinary approach to improving the lives of our frail elderly and Treatment to Target Clinics for diabetes patients both of which have been a huge success. These novel approaches are being adopted by other practices in Hampshire.

“As with all regulatory assessments there are areas that require improvement, especially following a recent merger, and I am pleased to say the few areas highlighted by CQC have been addressed.

“Watership Down Health will continue to provide high quality medical care delivered by a friendly, motivated team to our population.”