Two Hove doctors’ surgeries ordered to close

Posted On 10 Jun 2015 at 8:56 pm

Two doctors’ surgeries in Hove have been ordered to close with immediate effect, leaving 10,000 patients without a GP.

Goodwood Court Medical Centre, in Palmeira Place, by the corner of Cromwell Road, and its Eaton Gardens branch surgery, by the corner of Eaton Villas, were told to stop seeing patients at once.

The closure came yesterday (Tuesday 9 June) after a three-day unannounced inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Inspectors found that the practice was “so inadequate as to potentially represent a risk to patients so great that unprecedented and urgent action should be taken”.

The CQC – along with NHS England and the Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) – had shared concerns that the two surgeries were failing to provide essential services to patients.

In a letter NHS England said: “The CQC’s investigations confirmed the collective concerns that the practice was not providing an acceptable service to patients.

“The service was assessed as being so inadequate as to potentially represent a risk to patients so great that unprecedented and urgent action should be taken.

“As a result the CQC determined that an urgent cancellation of the practice’s CQC registration was necessary in order to protect the safety and welfare of patients.

“The CQC therefore applied to the courts to withdraw the practice’s registration with the CQC with instant effect.

“Without this registration the practice does not have the authorisation to deliver clinical care to its patients and therefore patients cannot currently be treated at Goodwood Court Medical Centre.

“As such the practice will be unable to meet the terms of its contract to provide core services to patients.

“NHS England will therefore need to end the contract in order to make alternative arrangements that will guarantee patients ongoing access to patient care.

“There are currently around 10,000 patients registered at Goodwood Court Medical Centre and we are taking urgent action to make sure they have access to the full range of GP services as swiftly as possible.

“We … are currently looking to issue a contract to another provider in the short term to ensure that all patients have access to ongoing care.

“In the immediate period patients who need to see a GP or a nurse can attend the Brighton Station Health Centre which can provide treatment for a range of minor injuries and illnesses as necessary.

“We will write again to patients imminently to explain the action we have taken to secure their access to local GP services in the longer term.”

The Goodwood Court practice was run by Andy Watts and Abubakr Osman.

Goldsmid ward councillor Jackie O’Quinn said: “This is a deeply worrying situation.”

The closure comes three months after the Eaton Place surgery in Kemp Town shut its doors, leaving thousands of patients without a doctor. And just over a week after the temporary closure of another Hove practice, in Burwash Road, Hangleton, after reports of a rat infestation.

  1. Valerie Paynter Reply

    That was once my GP’s surgery and the practice split in two when Charter Medical Centre was built and my GP moved there.

    Leaving 10,000 patients to fend for themselves like this is even more dangerous it seems to me – what about frail disabled, terminslly ill, elderly or others needing a house call (usually a locum called by the GP)?

    This sbrupt move could wirsen the A & E sutuation!!

    Unless criminal charges are imminent I think the doctors at Goodwood must still be capable of providing medical service. If not; why not!?

  2. feline1 Reply

    Utterly bonkers:

    (1) WHAT was it, specifically, that the Don’t Care Quality Commission found?? Why no details whatsoever? Churnalism, much?

    (2) How can it possibly improve care to suddenly leave thousands of people without a GP?? Surely in such a circumstances, the CQC should migrate them to other practices to ensure continuity of care?!? Utterly bizarre!

  3. Elaine Fox Reply

    My 8 year old daughter and I are patients of this surgery, I moved us here a year ago from my old gps who were completely apathetic. We have actually had better care here than before, ie, they would actually refer you rather than just shrug their shoulders.
    It’s a shame that as patients we have to find out on the news! I find it hard to believe that their practice would be so life-threatening that the CQC thought it better to leave their 9,500 patients without a GP rather than ensure this was dealt with before the closure. THAT was bad practice!

  4. Doctorj42 Reply

    Perhaps because they didn’t have enough staff? I tried to get an appointment twice in the past week. You have to call on the day. Appointments can’t be made in advance. I called for over 30 minutes before they answered. If you don’t call by 9 a.m., it’s too late. I’m not sure of the care concerns, but their service was very poor. I’ll be looking to switch GPs.

  5. Rod Reply

    I’m devastated at this news. I find it hard to believe that the chaos and distress that is being caused by this action can be justified. Putting in practice some measures to address specific issues like difficulty getting appointments would have been a much better approach.

    I was extremely satisfied as a patient at this practice. I found the lead doctor, the practice nurse and the reception staff to be excellent and very sympathetic compared to appalling treatment that myself and my partner, who is over 70 and fragile, received at other practices.

    I also find it outrageous that I had to learn about this from the Argus. The practice closed 2 days ago, but still no official text, email or letter in the post this evening.

    With all their resources you would think that before taking such drastic action, CQC and NHS England would have a plan in place for the 10,000 patients. That plan today amounted to little more than call 111 or go to the walk-in clinic at Brighton Station.


  6. Charles James Reply

    For the record the doctor in charges name was actually Dr Andy Watts not Wells. He should be named and shamed as a terrible GP. As far as I’m aware Dr Osman has not actual practiced at that surgery for several years.

    • Leis finch Reply

      What rubbish Dr Watts is a good doctor with a staff shortage, always has time to listen even if running late with his list. I have been at this surgery for over 20 years, and although the service was not as good as in the days of Nigel Higson he was a good and caring man!!

    • Frank le Duc Reply

      Sorry. And a belated thanks for pointing out my typo – now corrected.

  7. Vegasmonkie Reply

    I am amazed at the positive comments re Goodwood Court on here. Up until about 6 or 7 years they were an excellent surgery, along with the Eaton Centre. Since then they’ve been completely awful. The GPs I’ve seen in that period, bar 2, have been so cruel and unhelpful to me, I can’t even type it all out. I only found the latter one of the two good ones recently and am gutted they’ve been closed just for that reason, for no other. Two of their GPs made me cry, they were just so awful and unsympathetic and obviously clock-watching. Good bl0ody riddance, frankly (apart from the 2 nice ones).

  8. Joannie Reply

    Well my family have been with the practice since 2009. Yes the appointment system was wholly inadequate and yes one or two of the receptionists left a lot to be desired. But as someone with a chronic long term condition I finally found a doctor who cared and helped me. That was Dr twins a long term locum. I’m devastated to find myself in this situation and with needing ongoing regular care very worried. Especially since a lot of practices closer to home have such awful reviews.

  9. Anexgoodwood Reply

    @Vegasmonkie I couldn’t agree more….I never went back after 1 Doctor, 1 Nurse and 1 receptionist each made me cry over a period of 2 hours waiting to be seen in one visit with me and the 2 kids very poorly! Only one of us was seen as I was asked to prioritise! Good Riddance – I did try to tell them along the way and offered my services to their patient forum but that was a sham and didn’t actually exist – it looked like no one Doctor was actually heading up and managing the place!

  10. Anexgoodwood Reply

    Would also like to support Dr Andrew Watts – was absolutely excellent with the children and I hope he is able to find something suitable in future as he’s one doctor I’ve met with an excellent table manner!

    • Annabel Lektor Reply

      Table manner?

  11. Valerie Paynter Reply

    As the days wind on the shock of this closure is growing in my mind. Elsewhere i read a comment asking how repeat prescriptions could be handled now that this surgery has been closed BY A COURT!!! at the instigation of this so-called “Care” Quality Commission. Fat lot they care about repeat prescriptions apparently.

    The 10,000 patients have not been contacted (see comment here) and most will not read the Argus, hear about the closure or look on here and may not know at all until their life-saving drugs run out and need repeating.

    Where are the records and what alternative surgery has access to them to allow repeat prescriptions? If it happens to a transplant patient, it is seriously life threatening to lose the transplant drug-support continuity. If it happens to someone with high blood pressure,the loss of repeat prescriptions could mean a heart attack or stroke.

    Nice one Care Quality Commission. You really need someone to look into your activities. As for the Court that closed the surgery…..who do they account to?

  12. Nonna Reply

    You can access care at the walk-in clinic at Brighton Station.

    The CQC don’t close GP surgeries, without warning, lightly.

  13. Babs Reply

    There is something very seriously wrong, not just rubbish appointment system or staff shortages, I read the CQC report online,the failure of the practice to do proper background and qualification checks on the staff is what I find most worrying. I suspect we shall find out the details eventually, as patients we have a right to know.

  14. SMM Reply

    To be honest, I’ve put up with ailments rather than go there for about the last 7 years. Have found them sometimes patronising, occasionally sneering and usually unhelpful. Thought it was just the way things are nowadays so this news is rather a relief to me. I’m looking forward to a gp who actually offers help and treatment rather than suggests I take a paracetamol or get some new furniture.
    And I heard the news via a letter from the NHS.

  15. mygaric Reply

    This Drs surgery was appallingly bad. I was suddely taken off a pill I had been on for 20years on the whim of one DR and had dreadful side effects for 8 weeks. At another time I was put on a blood pressure pill that halved my BP over night .- not good! – too fast a BP drop – made me see double . Given another persons prescription with their home address on it ,which I returned immediately. Took a blood test for diabetes and was told i have an allergy to dust mite so had all my carpets washed bought covers for pillows and mattress .And I dont think I had it at all – all at the cost to me of £200, and nothing about Diabetes i now realise it was somebody else’s blood test they were reading.I was talked down to and made to feel like a hypochondriac . I have very high blood pressure. and am 82. I am sure the inconvenience of sudden closer is more than made up for. As already they have made other surgeries available after only one week . It needed closing .

    • Javz Reply

      I left this surgery to join another after nearly 17 years. As previously said it was a very well run surgery when Dr. Higson was there, but gradually deteriorated when he left. It got ridiculous with promised prescriptions not turning up at the pharmacy all week for blood pressure tablets that were needed over the weekend. To book an appointment with your own GP was a joke (my daughter, who stayed with Goodwood) had to wait over three weeks! She ended up in tears in the surgery from frustration. I am not at all surprised to hear it has been closed…my daughter and her asthmatic son have received a letter from the NHS Commission and she has been to accepted into another local surgery and has had no problem with his medication. I believe the CQC did the right thing as it could not have carried on the way it was performing.

  16. David Smith Reply

    Typical dreadful structure of the NHS, forcing people to register with a single GP. I live in Brighton and Australia part-time, and in Australia, we can go and see any GP, anywhere we like. Much more efficient and actually more cost effective than in Britain.

    It’s obvious that the highly centralised, highly controlled NHS does not actually provide consistent, quality medical care. I could weep comparing the system to elsewhere.

  17. Franci Lane Reply

    Dr Higson was the best GP I’ve ever had. When he left I was gutted.
    Post Higson, went to the surgery with a lump near my bellie button and was told by Mr Osman that it could by a lympth node so was referred to the hospital. The radiologist confirmed a hernia and informed me that lympth nodes would never be in that area. Before that treat, I did some gardening at Eaton Place that Mr Osman never paid me for! It put me off going to the doctors. Maybe that was their ploy.

  18. Mark Reply

    I came across this article as a (former) patient looking for complaint procedures.
    I’m going to find-out the name of the woman who saw me. She was about 60/65, glasses, plump, with grey, short, fairly curly hair. She didn’t seem like a Doctor.
    It was very uncomplicated and she refused to take/book me any tests as would be standard procedure for the complaint. It was the patronising and smug way she did it too.
    I’m coming after you in a court of law.
    You have seriously affected my quality of life over the last 2 years. You shouldn’t be in the Medical profession.
    I can see why this place has been was a risk to patients. Better to go somewhere else for a proper opinion, especially if it is a serious problem.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if I saw that woman in the media as one of these death Nurse/Doctors.

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