Around 800 patients at a GP practice in Leyland have been told that inaccuracies have been discovered in their medical records.
The individuals, registered at Station Surgery on Golden Hill Lane, are set to be called in for an appointment to amend their notes and provide “further information”, according to a letter which has been sent to them in the last 24 hours.
All 2,800 patients on the surgery’s books have been contacted via a separate letter to advise them of a potential issue with the way information has been recorded on their records which “may affect you and the quality and safety of your care”.
No details of the nature of the concerns have been made public, but the Lancashire Post understands that an ongoing investigation is initially focusing on patients with chronic diseases - approximately half of the total number on the practice’s books.
It is these patients whose records are being checked as a priority. Any further individuals who are directly affected - beyond the 800 already identified - will also receive a second letter with details of how an appointment can be arranged.
Ultimately, the entire patient list might have to be reviewed. Other practices caring for patients previously registered with Station Surgery have also been contacted to ensure that they are not overlooked.
The investigation into record-keeping at Station Surgery is understood to span the last three years - and involves NHS England and the internal audit agency used by Chorley and South Ribble clinical commissioning group (CCG).
But the work is being led by the Preston-based Park View Surgery, which temporarily took over the running of the Leyland practice in May, following the sudden death of its sole GP, Dr. George Ahad, the previous month. The 75-year-old had been operating the facility for 31 years.
It is understood that the issues came to light shortly after Park View took control of the practice.
Dr. Ahad’s passing threw the future of Station Surgery into doubt, with Chorley and South Ribble CCG having to decide whether to disperse patients to other practices in the area or try to find a new operator. Members last month opted to keep the surgery open and extend the arrangement with Park View to continue running it until a permanent provider is procured next spring.
Helen Curtis, director of quality and performance at Chorley and South Ribble CCG, moved to reassure patients that there could be no repeat of the issues which had sparked the investigation.
“Thanks to the attentiveness of staff at Park View Surgery, the practice that has been providing services at Station Surgery following the sad passing of Dr. Ahad earlier this year, issues in the way information has been documented on some patients’ medical records have come to light.
“These concerns were identified by Park View Surgery shortly after they took over services at Station Surgery and we are satisfied that arrangements are now in place to make sure such issues do not occur again.
“The medical records of all patients are being reviewed by a doctor at the surgery and any patients affected by this issue will receive further confirmation as soon as possible to advise them of this.
“Any patient who is directly affected and contacted by the surgery should book an appointment as soon as is convenient.
“This will allow their medical record to be correctly updated as necessary and further information provided to them,” Ms Curtis added.
The Post understands that the issues which have emerged will not have any effect on the separate process to find a new operator for Station Surgery.
WHAT SHOULD PATIENTS DO?
Station Surgery patients who have been directly affected by this issue will be contacted by the practice in order to arrange an appointment for their records to be amended. They do not need to take any other action.
However, any patients who are concerned are being asked to contact Chorley and South Ribble CCG's customer care team on 01772 214602 or 01772 214601, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
More than 300 patients signed a petition calling for Station Surgery to be kept open following the death of its long-serving GP, Dr. George Ahad, back in April.
In a consultation into the future of the practice, it received glowing tributes from those who had been treated there. The surgery was described as “homely” and a place where people were treated as individuals and “not as a number”.
Several spoke of wanting the practice to remain open in order to create a fitting legacy to Dr. Ahad’s dedication over the past three decades.
When Chorley and South Ribble CCG opted last month to try to find a new GP to operate the facility, the decision was greeted with warm applause by dozens of patients who had attended the meeting where the issue was discussed.
Dr. Ahad was described as “one of the last traditional GPs” who knew his patients and their families personally.