NHS chiefs publish terms of review of care at Downham Market Health Centre

Health chiefs today published the blueprint for the independent enquiry into Downham Market Health Centre.

It comes after concerns over the standard of patient care at the Paradise Road centre.

Complainants include a widower, whose wife died in hospital after a locum GP said he was too busy to see her.

Today NHS East of England said it had commissioned a review of Downham Market Health Centre between March 2010 and March 2011.

It said the review would be 'organised around the three domains of quality: safety, clinical effectiveness and patient experience'.

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It said it would also review patient safety, clinical governance, administrative and managerial arrangements and systems at the Downham Market Health Centre.

The enquiry will also cover contract management and clinical oversight from NHS Norfolk and Norfolk Community Health and Care of the services provided by Downham Market Health Centre.

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It will focus in particular on the recruitment, induction and appraisal of in hours locum practitioners (GPs); and the interface between in hours and out of hours services.

Lessons learned will be shared across Norfolk, the region and nationally so that systems and processes can be put in place to avoid similar issues occurring again.

Interviews will be carried out on June 27, and there will be a practice visit on July 1.

The review panel will be chaired by Prof Mike Pringle, director of education, Collingham Healthcare Education Centre Ltd.

It will include Jacqui Smith, a health executive; Julie Reid, a practice manager from Newark, Notts; and Ed Marsden, an experienced clinician and NHS manager.

In July 2010, NHS Norfolk re-tendered the contract to provide primary medical services at Downham Market Health Centre and appointed a well established GP practice based in West Norfolk. This new management took over provision from April 1, 2011.

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