THE new banding system for GP surgeries by the Care Quality Commission has filled up a lot of column inches in newspapers and created a great deal of debate.
The ‘intelligent monitoring’ of GP surgeries are made up of different types of evidence on patient experience, care and treatment, based on sources including surveys and official statistics.
CQC has produced 38 indicators on whether patients at the surgery could be at ‘risk’ or ‘elevated risk’ beyond what would be expected normally for each of these.
It then placed every practice into bandings from one (highest concern) to six (lowest concern) to help plan inspections from next year.
Among the Thurrock medical centres that have received Band 1 are: Aveley Medical Centre, The Masson surgery in Grays, The Bansal Practice in Grays, The Orsett surgery, The Chadwell Medical Centre, Dr Roy and Partner in Stanford-le-Hope
Privately, some GPs have complained that this is a crude system of analysis and does not reveal the true picture.
Thurrock’s Conservatives and UKIP councillors have responded to the report.
Shadow portfolio holder for Health, cllr Charlie Key said:
"I am very concerned at the CQC bandings outlined in their recent reports – but I would urge all Thurrock residents to be wary about any major regarding their local GP surgery until further inspections have taken place.
"With 82% of the country’s surgeries in the bottom 4 of the 6 priority bands, I am obviously very concerned about the number that we have here in Thurrock in band 1. Thurrock Council should work very closely with its local health partners via the Health and Wellbeing Board and out Overview and Scrutiny committee to improve these statistics.
"I remind everyone that until further inspections these bandings are based primarily on statistics, and therefore whilst they are concerning it is not a final judgement on our local GP services.
"I welcome the new bandings as it will quicken the timescale for inspection and therefore a judgement can be provided quicker".
Orsett councillor has also reacted to the news that Orsett surgery has been placed in Band 1.
Cllr Little concentrated on the reports findings in relation to diabetes.
Cllr Little said: "They seem to show this condition managed as well as one would hope. Speaking from personal experience I know it is a very serious condition and one that can lead to loss of sight and limbs.
"My thoughts are is it cheaper to check feet or amputate them though I should imagine that would not sound very PC.
"Sadly across the country they is a rise in diabetes and lot of that is to do with our life styles. We can only hope people remain vigilant and take the risk more seriously".
We also asked UKIP councillor Robert Ray for his thoughts on the report into Aveley Medical Centre.
Cllr Ray said: "Aveley Medical Centre may have, and I stress, may have, the same problems as many other organisations in Aveley and that is a problem of capacity.
The three primary schools are over-subscribed, the roads are choked with lorries and cars and the rise in population, may have created untold pressures on the surgery.
"We have a new housing development on thee by-pass and we await the decision on another 500 homes in Purfleet Road. It is, in my opinion, connected."