Islington’s out-of-hours GP service, Harmoni, receives positive inspection report by health watchdog
PUBLISHED: 17:11 09 May 2014
(c) Jeffrey Coolidge
A controversial out-of-hours GP service in Islington which was criticised over the death of a baby has made significant improvements.
According to a the latest report published by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), Harmoni provides care that is “safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led”.
The new findings show a major step forward for the service. Last year inspectors found the private healthcare firm was failing to respond to a quarter of urgent calls due to staff shortages.
It had also come under fire following the death of seven-week-old Axel Peanberg King, who stopped breathing after allegedly being sent to the back of the queue at Harmoni’s out-of-hours clinic at The Whittington, in Magdala Avenue, Archway.
The firm also provides an out-of-hours telephone service and home visits by on-call GPs in both Islington and Camden.
An inspection carried out this month stated: “It was evident that since the last inspection in May 2013 the provider had taken clear steps to ensure staffing levels remained constant and met the needs of the service provision.
“They now used very specific and very few locum GPs who they recruit from the locality. They had more recently appointed more permanent GPs to their staffing group. They told us and we saw records of the Rota-master which evidenced how they determine appropriate skill mix to provide an effective service delivery.
“This meant patients can be assured their needs would be met in a timely and effective manner because there are sufficient staff available.”
The report also said patients were happy with the care and treatment they received and staff had been “kind and caring”.
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