FORMER surgery bosses have apologised to patients following a damning report by the heath watchdog into Frinton’s practice.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has placed Caradoc Surgery into special measures after it was rated as ‘inadequate’ in an inspection in July.

The report, published this week, said the surgery was inadequate in terms of safety, effectiveness, responsiveness and leadership and requires improvement in its care.

Since the inspection, North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group has terminated healthcare provider Anglian Community Enterprise’s (ACE) contract for the surgery.

The report found patients could not access care and treatment in a timely way, that there was low patient satisfaction for ease of getting through on the phone, and for the experience of making an appointment.

Patients also had issues regarding ordering their repeat prescriptions and did not receive them within the practice five day given time-frame and child immunisation and cervical screening data remained below national targets.

Dr Rosie Benneyworth, the CQC’s Chief Inspector of Primary Medical Services and Integrated Care, placed the surgery into special measures, which means it will be inspected again within six months.

If insufficient improvements have been made, further action will be taken, which could include closing the surgery.

David Harrison, executive chairman of Anglian Community Enterprise, apologised to patients for ACE’s failings.

He said: “This report is very disappointing and we apologise for not offering the best level of service and care to our patients.

“We recognise the comments made by the CQC and following their inspection in July we immediately implemented a number of key improvements.

“Obviously we are no longer the provider of services for Caradoc Surgery, however, the lessons learnt from this experience have been at the heart of the improvement plan for our other three GP surgeries.

“Already we are able to report a number of significant improvements including reduced telephone waiting times and the speedier processing of test results.

“In addition we have amended processes, introduced more training and have made leadership changes.”

Frank Sims, the new chief executive of ACE, added: “I want to ensure that the service we provide our primary care patients is of the best quality and I will be doing all that I can to make certain that this is achieved as soon as possible.

“We are working closely with the CCG and will be requesting an independent review of our services.”

Clacton MP Giles Watling previously lambasted the “appalling” telephone system and called on the CQC and the CCG to hold ACE to account.

He said: “The report is historic - and is the failings is the reason why I campaigned for something to be done.

“Since ACE was removed, things have improved vastly at Caradoc and patient experience has been much better.”